With the epileptic power (supply) in the country – degenerating from bad to worse, and the nation losing huge revenue due to compounded energy crisis, the populace are also being encumbered with even greater (health) risks owing to noise, and air pollution. Part of the characteristics of the average Nigerian being that he easily ‘adapts’ to any situation he finds himself is not necessarily a resounding attribute. Albeit in the midst of abundance, the society inexplicably remains docile – coping with every manner of absurdity.
The health hazards posed by the noise, let alone the pollution that emanates from power generating plants in our society is one that should make any health watcher shudder with rage and dread. For majority of Nigerians today, it is almost impossible for one not to be exposed to the disturbing noise of generator sets in one way or the other especially in the towns and urban centres. Whether it is at the work place, at home, or in the public, you just cannot escape it. In most city centres and indeed the whole country, the citizenry seems to have ultimately resigned to fate as it were.
It has become a ‘normal’ daily experience that you open up for business and remain subjected to noise disturbances right from the onset to close down. It is worse for those who run micro or small business outfits, as well as tenants who share buildings, because they are ‘forced’ to stick very close to the ‘source of power’ and noise on a regular basis. This is the very attitude we must jettison so we can have our health and sanity back.
It is bad enough that the authorities responsible for making electricity available are not living up to expectation, but it is even more disheartening that the health authorities are also in the ‘sidon look’ attitude. What we, and even more importantly – the policy makers fail to realise is that the level of damage that could be traceable to noise from generator sets are simply more than the eyes can immediately see.
Complacency on the part of leadership does not let them understand that we are all exposed to this danger because it does not matter whether you are rich or poor. Patients in a hospital are deprived of the peace and tranquillity required for full recovery and sanity when generator sets perpetually upset the environment with noise and poisonous fume. Everybody gets disturbed in the presence of noise, let alone consistent noise; it is health hazardous to get used to this anomaly.
So many people get sick for various reasons but most times we are only stuck with looking at one direction; we fail to realise what noise ‘pollution’ may be doing to our population. Studies have always proven that noise pollution can be a disturbance in many ways – causing high stress levels, hypertension, tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, and other harmful effects. Sound becomes unwanted when it interferes with normal activities such as sleeping and conversations, etc.
Unknowingly to most Nigerians, noise can interfere seriously with the normal life activities of both humans and even animals! It can adversely affect your reproductive health and general communications while diminishing your quality of life in general.
Noise pollution is the “disturbing noise that may harm the activity or balance of human or animal life”. It has serious effects such as damaging the ability to hear, damaging to liver, brain and heart, leading to emotional and behavioural stress. Apart from gradual hearing loss which is very evident in our society today, noise pollution from generator sets alone are enough to cause conditions such as increased heart beat, pupil dilation, constriction of blood vessels, eardrum damage and even heart failure, etc.
The authorities must at this time more than ever before, see to it that normalcy is returned in the power and petroleum sectors as they are always intertwined. The government needs to do everything within its powers to save the citizenry from the harrowing everyday experience of generator-induced noise which they are subjected to. They owe the nation the duty of cherishing and safeguarding the wellbeing of the masses for a healthier and better tomorrow.