July 23, 2024

Lagos residents raise alarm over proposed recreational park under transmission lines 

Samuel Agbelusi
Some concerned residents of Lagos State have condemned the plan by the Lagos State Government to build an recreational park under high-tension electrical wires, which according to them is in violation of  Transmission Company of Nigeria(TCN) transmission lines’ Right of Way(RoW).
EnergyDay gathered that the Lagos State government had on January 6, 2022, demolished the shop and the Mechanic Village, Akilo, after serving traders and occupants ejection notice of makeshift abodes under the high tension line.
The concerned residents revealed that the proposed recreational park and shops being erected by the Agege local government would further expose users and fun-seekers to electricity danger, which was why the makeshift structures under the transmission lines were earlier demolished by the government.
 Mr. Olamilekan Abubakar, who made the observation, expressed disappointment in the ongoing construction work by the state government at the site.
He said, “I will be disappointed if the Lagos government embarks on such a project capable of exposing the residents to more danger as transmission lines that power electricity will be running over the parks when completed,” he said.
“The overseeing state agencies need to see to this and allay the very important fears in our people. If possible, they should relocate the project from the site. At least the lives of the residents are very important,” he added.
Abubakar further urged the state agency to look into the proposed site under the transmission lines to see for possible relocation.
Speaking with EnergyDay, Ademola Ajayi, another resident of the area, revealed that it is the duty of the government to protect lives and property, but not risk the lives of residents.
 He said, “The proposed recreational park will only endanger our lives due to the high voltage transmission lines hovering on top of the site.
Furthermore, research made by EnergyDay gathered that the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) which is under the state ministry of the environment are in charge of the proposed amusement park.
Efforts to reach Mrs. Adetoun Ibilola Popoola, the Director of LASPARK proved abortive while the spokesperson of the ministry of environment is still not responding to calls at the time of filing this report.
Speaking about the dangers of erecting structures under high-tension cables, the Transmission Company of Nigeria(TCN) in a statement obtained by EnergyDay, revealed that despite regulation and regular sensitization campaigns, the incidence of violation of transmission lines’ Right of Way has persisted and has become a major threat to the successful execution of TCN’s grid expansion agenda.
TCN added that it is mandatory to observe 25 meters on both sides of the 330kV transmission lines and 15 meters on each side of the 132kV lines.
It also advised Nigerians to stop putting up structures including commercial and residential apartments under and near high-tension lines in the interest of their health and safety.
The company also warned them not to transact business, build or dump materials/refuse under high tension power cables.
The statement said, “TCN as a power engineering entity deals with high voltage electricity while transmitting electricity from GenCos to DisCos load centers nationwide.
“Presently, all over the nation, illegal structures, some with multiple floors have been erected without regard to the Right of Way limitations, health and safety considerations as well as urban development requirements.
“We have warned people against the health hazards that may occur due to Electromagnetic emission that can negatively impact the health of those living close to high voltage transmission lines.
“The International Agency for Research on Cancer has sufficiently established that leukemia in children is one of the health hazards of electromagnetic exposure. This was established by measured and calculated magnetic field exposure, which includes a safe distance of homes to power lines.
“Observing the Right of Way (RoW) will also prevent electrocution caused by snapping of transmission lines. Although this is not common, the death toll is usually very high when it does happen.
“It would be recalled that no fewer than 30 people lost their lives in Calabar in 2017, as a result of a high tension cable that snapped and fell on a viewing center where football fans were watching the UEFA Europa league.
“All manner of menial jobs such as mechanical repairs, food, and other business activities under high tension power lines expose people to both health hazards and probable untimely death.
“TCN has continued to enlighten the citizenry in town hall meetings, and other platforms speaking about the inherent dangers of building under transmission lines and towers,” the statement ended.