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Alternative power source causes more deaths

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By Abraham Adekunle

As power supply worsens, generator fumes fuel deaths and climate change.

As power supply worsens in Nigeria, households and business continue to use alternative power sources to power their homes and businesses. But this has had more devastating effects not only to the homes and businesses but also to the environment. For instance, a family of four who newly moved into a rented apartment at the Apapa area of Lagos State were found all dead in their apartment a few days after. One of the family’s relatives had told the news correspondents that the family had been using a generator, which was inside the house, and the windows were closed. There was no proper ventilation and the family died of generator fume inhalation.

This incident, among many others, occurred because of the current situation of power supply in Nigeria. Nigeria’s electric energy is derived from hydropower or hydroelectric and thermal or fossil fuel plants. The hydropower is a renewable, clean, non-fossil fuel form of electricity generation from stored and regulated rivers or dams. Data from Statista shows that in 2020 electricity was generated more from the thermal plants with 22 terawatts hours, while production from hydropower plants was 6.1 terawatts hours.

A lot of Nigerians are still not connected to the national grid.

Despite all the energy generated, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate (UNFCC) has revealed that about 25 million Nigerians are not connected to the power grid. Supporting the UNFCC’s report, the World Bank has also stated that over 80 million Nigerians do not have access to electricity. This constitutes 43 percent of the country’s population. A breakdown of the reports by Climate Score Card stated that only 56.5 percent of Nigerians had access to electricity in 2018, due to the poor public infrastructure in rural areas and other factors. These reports have shown without a shadow of doubt that Nigeria has inadequate national power distribution and supply.

Apart from the inaccessibility of electricity, it is also expensive. The International Gas Union, in collaboration with Hawilti Limited, revealed in its February 2023 report that the available energy in Nigeria, Cameroon and Egypt, as well as many other African countries, was expensive, inefficient, polluting and unreliable. There is also the fact that the power grid collapsed four times just between January and September 2022 alone. In the last seven years, the grid has collapsed more than 100 times. With all these, people will by default switch to an available and maybe cheaper and easily accessible power source. The most popular of this is using generators that run on fossil fuels. Households popularly use a mini-size generator popularly called “I better pass my neighbor.”

Deadly generator fumes cause more deaths and degrade environment.

Hardly does a year elapse in Nigeria without reports of generator fumes killing people. Many of these deaths were caused by “I better pass my neighbor” generators. For instance, ten wedding guests died in 2019 at the traditional wedding ceremony in Imo because this mini-size generator was turned on overnight and kept in a kitchen, while the doors and windows were closed. By morning, neighbors made a forceful entrance into the house and found ten of 50 guests dead, while the others were rushed to a hospital. Reports like this are often in the news.

People die due to negligence or ignorance of the harmful nature of these fumes, known as carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas formed as a result of the incomplete burning of fuel. According to DieselNet Technology Guide, diesel exhaust gas contains increased concentrations of water vapor, carbon dioxide and decreased oxygen. So, since humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, persons staying in an environment saturated with generators tend to breathe in increased concentrations of carbon dioxide and decreased oxygen.

Generators result in polluted, unhealthy cities.

An air quality report group, IQAir.com, stated that as of 2021, the air quality in Lagos State was poor and classified as unhealthy according to the World Health Organization standard. The group noted that the major source of air pollution was vehicle emissions, industry and domestic energy use. It also added that generators supplied half of Lagos total energy needs and were another source of air pollution. The poor combustion of the gasoline and oil used to power the generators pollutes the air and could cause huge health issues. In 2022, Nigeria was ranked 18 out of 131 countries with the worst air quality globally.


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AN-Toni
AN-Toni
Editor
7 months ago

Alternative power source cause more deaths.As power supply worsens, generator fumes fuel deaths and climate change. – Express your point of view.

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
Member
7 months ago

It is important to understand that any form of power source, whether it is non-renewable or renewable, can pose certain risks and dangers. However, it is often argued that alternative power sources such as wind, solar, or hydroelectric power may be considered safer and more sustainable compared to traditional sources, but they are not without risks and challenges. The key is to strike a balance between energy production and environmental and human safety to ensure a sustainable future for all.

Abusi
Abusi
Member
7 months ago

This is very true and it’s just unfortunate. Alternative power source like generator, has fumes that can kill if not coming out through the right channel.

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
Member
7 months ago

There should be some sort of public awareness campaign that can help the public to know and be enlightened on the dangers of using generators and how it can lead to a health disorders.

Hassan Isa
Hassan Isa
Member
7 months ago

It is the low and inadequate power supply that is plaguing the country that is making people look for all these alternative methods of generating power and if that can be fixed everything should be better.

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
Member
7 months ago

The federal government needs to accept the fact that people will use whatever power source is readily available, regardless of cost or convenience so they must provide this electricity for us so we can have a prosperous life.

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
Member
7 months ago

Many people has died through the use of alternative power supply but no matter what all sources of generating power has it good and bad side but using generator is very bad because of the emission of carbon monoxide.

Christiana
Christiana
Member
7 months ago

Those that are being careless with the use of generator are to be blamed for all this, how will you look yourself up with your generator on?? When it’s obviously dangerous to yours health

DimOla
DimOla
Member
7 months ago

Despite the huge amount of money pumped into electric power production there is no improvement. It seems the cabal that want constant sale of petrol, diesel and generator to make profit will not permit such in Nigeria. The high corruption in the power sector has created a lacuna that is being exploit by these cabals. The use of generator is not helpful. It has led to the deaths of several people. Therefore FG should find lasting solution to the challenges in the power sector.

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
Member
7 months ago

Alternative power source cause more deaths. Federal government of Nigeria is the major problem and to be blamed, they have refuse to fix electricity in this country. Fixing stable electricity in Nigeria is very possibly but the selfishness won’t allow them fix constant light because All this generator companies are paying them a very huge amount of money.
People can’t stay in darkness. Power supply is needed for businesses and other activities. Government should do the needful instead of telling us stories with all their empty promises every year

SarahDiv
SarahDiv
Member
7 months ago

The Nigeria power sector has never function to it maximum since the inception of the fourth republic despite the funds released for the improvement of this sector but no result.
The alternative source of power which is easily affordable to an average person in Nigeria is the generator. The fumes released from this power generating set has led to the deaths of some people in Nigeria. It is also contributing to the climatic change and health hazard currently experienced in the world today. Awareness at all levels not just the school pupils but to cooperate organisations, companies and individuals should be create to warn everyone of the impending danger of certain activities that can cause climatic change which can affect our health and environment.