Breaking News Africa

« »

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Democracy in Darkness in Nigeria

A Nigerian child attempting to turn on a generator! The caption in pidgin English, "Una want use Heat kill Person" means do you want to use heat to kill someone? Millions of children in Nigeria have to sleep with poor ventilation due to regular power cuts and sweat profusely from the heat indoors. Parents have to turn on generators to power extractor fans to ventilate their homes in congested places and arid regions in Nigeria.

Today is Democracy Day in Nigeria, an unpopular public holiday declared and enforced by the government of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) since May 29, 1999. But majority of the population of over 160 million are left in darkness, because of lack of regular power supply.

Power outages are unusually more frequent in Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa where maladministration caused by rampant corruption and incompetence have left majority of the people in darkness without regular power supply. The country generates less than 4, 000 MW of electricity for a population of over 160 million people. Therefore they have to provide their own power by buying thousands of generators imported and sold by the same contractors who have sabotaged the infrastructure for power supply and they continue to sabotage the means of regular power supply so that there will be more demand for generators from which they have made billions of dollars for decades. The provision of regular power supply will put them out of business, so they would rather die sabotaging the power supply than stop their booming generator supply business.

• Brazil is able to generate 100,000MW of grid-based electric power for a population of 201 million people, while South Africa generates 40,000MW for about 50 million citizens.

• South African is provided 97 per cent more electricity than a Nigerian, while a Brazilian enjoys 93 per cent more. With a population of 150 million, Nigeria’s generation capacity is around 3,600MW.

• South Africa’s 44, 074.4MW (for a population of 49,320,150); and Ghana’s 2,111MW (for a population of 23,837,261).

Per capita, this equals 22.8W of electricity for each Nigerian, 535.8W for a Brazilian, 3, 252.6W for an American, South Africa 1, 093W for a South African and 88.6w for a Ghanaian.


Nigerians Are Suffering and Dying from Hazards of Using Generators


Portable generators are useful when temporary or remote electric power is needed, but they also can be hazardous. The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire.

Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use. Most of the incidents associated with portable generators reported to CPSC involve CO poisoning from generators used indoors or in partially-enclosed spaces.
~ Portable Generator Hazards.

The whole atmosphere of Nigeria is polluted by hazardous fumes from hundreds of thousands of diesel and petrol generators used by millions of people and many have been killed by the toxic fumes and others are still suffering and dying from the health hazards of using generators indoors and outdoors.


~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima


Photo Credit: WXEDGE.
Consumer Product Safety Commission Safety Alert
Portable Generator Hazards


Portable generators are useful when temporary or remote electric power is needed, but they also can be hazardous. The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire.

Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use. Most of the incidents associated with portable generators reported to CPSC involve CO poisoning from generators used indoors or in partially-enclosed spaces.

Carbon Monoxide Hazards

NEVER use a generator in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces. Generators can produce high levels of CO very quickly. When you use a portable generator, remember that you cannot smell or see CO. Even if you can’t smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO.

If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY. DO NOT DELAY. The CO from generators can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death.

If you experience serious symptoms, get medical attention immediately. Inform medical staff that CO poisoning is suspected. If you experienced symptoms while indoors, have someone call the fire department to determine when it is safe to re-enter the building.

Follow these safety tips to protect against CO poisoning:

NEVER use a generator indoors, including in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, and other enclosed or partially-enclosed areas, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO build-up in the home.

Follow the instructions that come with your generator. Locate the unit outdoors and away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors.

Install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The CO alarms should be certified to the requirements of the latest safety standards for CO alarms (UL 2034, IAS 6-96, or CSA 6.19.01).

Test your CO alarms frequently and replace dead batteries.

Electrical Hazards


Follow these tips to protect against shock and electrocution:

Keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. To protect from moisture, operate it on a dry surface under an open, canopy-like structure. Dry your hands if wet before touching the generator.

Plug appliances directly into the generator. Or, use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.

NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This is an extremely dangerous practice that presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household circuit protection devices.

If you must connect the generator to the house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install the appropriate equipment in accordance with local electrical codes. Or, check with your utility company to see if it can install an appropriate power transfer switch.

For power outages, permanently installed stationary generators are better suited for providing backup power to the home. Even a properly connected portable generator can become overloaded. This may result in overheating or stressing the generator components, possibly leading to a generator failure.

Fire Hazards

Follow these tips to prevent fires:


Never store fuel for your generator in the home. Gasoline, propane, kerosene, and other flammable liquids should be stored outside of living areas in properly-labeled, non-glass safety containers. Do not store them near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage. If the fuel is spilled or the container is not sealed properly, invisible vapors from the fuel can travel along the ground and can be ignited by the appliance’s pilot light or by arcs from electric switches in the appliance.

Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool down. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

---

CPSC documents are in the public domain; a CPSC document may be reproduced without change in part or whole by an individual or organization without permission. If it is reproduced, however, the Commission would appreciate knowing how it is used. Write the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Office of Information and Public Affairs, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814 or send an e-mail via CPSC's Online Form.

All CPSC publications - including exclusive web-only content - are available to consumers to print for free from their home, school or office computers. To order hard copies of any of the Neighborhood Safety Library Publications or Technical Reports and Handbooks, please e-mail CPSC. Be sure to include your mailing address, and specify the document number and name of the publication desired. Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, go online to: SaferProducts.gov, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing and speech impaired. Consumers can obtain this news release and product safety information at www.cpsc.gov. To join a free e-mail subscription list, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.

Connect with Us!CPSCs OnSafety BlogSee our videos on You TubeFollow us on TwitterSee our pictures on Flickr

~ http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/portgend.html





No comments: