Rachiine citizens note that their town feels livelier and that local businesses are performing a bit better after USAID installed LED lights all along the town’s streets.
Be it in crude physics or in metaphysics, light is an element that holds a significant and profound value. This seemingly monarchic status given to light irrespective of whether it is mentioned in an empirical or in a theoretical discussion is easily justifiable. Throughout history, night has been a very intimidating and menacing period of the day during which many innocent wanderers could easily fall victim to lurking predators or to unperceivable hazards due to how limited human vision is in pitch-black darkness. Naturally, in a slightly poetic form of expression, being our one and only weapon against what lurks in the dark abyss of night, light, through an evolutionary social pathway, as many evolutionary biologists now agree, provides us with a feeling of safety, courage, and power. In Rachiine, RMF under the BALADI program funded by USAID installed 355 LED (Light-emitting diode) streetlights benefitting 4820 residents, counting 43 members owning 39 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMES). Bearing the aforementioned characteristics of light, it was natural that these 39 MSMES reported increased business activity, as local folk felt safer going for late-night purchases and groceries. Mayor Jerjess Zaouk estimated this increase to be at around 20% at peak activity, with slight fluctuations depending on multiple factors that are beyond the control of the locals, such as weather conditions and general economic stability. Municipality member George Tannous said: “the lights are not only powerful and bright, they are also very energy-sparing. While most of the residents only care for the added value of having an easier time wondering about at night, the municipality itself benefits a lot, as these lights save us quite a lot of money in comparison to those we previously had installed, going from a monthly $5000 to just $2600.”
Citizens like local resident Tony Mosallem praised the implementation by RMF funded by USAID for its precision and immaculate quality, hoping to see more developmental projects implemented by the agency to assist the town in the future.