By OLASUNKANMI AKONI
Thousands of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, electric poles across the Lagos metropolis are defective and could collapse at the slightest wind thrust.
Residents and road users have continued to raise the alarm on the precarious state of these electric poles and the need to carry out integrity and maintenance auditing on them to ascertain their durability by PHCN authorities in the state.
Two students electrocuted: Vanguard’s investigations show that about a year ago, two students were electrocuted on their way home from school when they unknowingly stepped on a life wire of a pole that fell during a heavy downpour accompanied by strong wind.
A teacher on Island too: Also, a teacher in one of the secondary schools on the Island, last year, lost his life when an electric pole fell on him as he was immediately electrocuted during an early morning rainfall accompanied by thunderstorm.
Latest danger: Last week during a heavy downpour not fewer than five electric poles belonging to PHCN collapsed around Central Business District, CBD, in Ikeja , Acme Road,to be precise close to Guiness and Peak Milk companies. As at press time, the electric poles were still lying on the road with the naked wire waiting to take lives through electrocution.
Ineffectiveness and insensitivity
The fallen poles, to say the least are evidence of inefficiency, ineffectiveness and insensitivity of the PHCN authorities as they do not only pose danger to residents but cause traffic gridlock on the affected roads.
Many more of such poles are scattered across the metropolis without any move by the owners to rescue their poor state which leaves residents to their fate incase of an eventuality.
Some electric poles are actually falling and left in such positions for months. These is a dangerous trend that should be addressed without further delay as heavy rainfall with windstorm have started.
The warning: It will be recalled that Nigerian Meteorological Agency, has warned residents on expected heavy rainfall this year. The Director_General of NIMET, Dr Anthony Anuforom, said that the rainfall pattern in most parts of Nigeria was likely to be similar to that of 2012, while pointing out that the forecast was not automatic as the predictions could change due to climate change.
Anuforom said: ‘’The conditions that determine rainfall pattern over Nigeria have become more variable due to the effects of climate change and global warming.’’
What this simply means is that Nigerians should expect heavy rainfall, because climate change will affect us too.