Heat Rash: Lagos Residents Groan over Irregular Electricity Supply






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By Grace Alegbe

Some residents of Gowon Estate in Egbeda area of Lagos State on Wednesday blamed irregular electricity supply for their health problems, including heat rash affecting mostly their children.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a rash is a noticeable change in the texture or colour of one’s skin.

The skin may become scaly, bumpy, itchy, or otherwise irritating.

Heat rash occurs when the skin’s sweat glands are blocked and the sweat produced cannot get to the surface of the skin to evaporate.

Heat rash is common during hot, humid weather and this causes inflammation that result in a rash.

The residents who spoke with NAN said that their children were suffering heat rash as a result of prolonged power outage.

They said that power distribution companies were supposed to wear a `human face’ to make power more available during hot weather.

They, however, appealed to the electricity distribution companies, particularly Ikeja Electric (IE) Plc to intervene by boosting power supply to the estate.

Mr Adeyinke Adeola, a resident, told NAN that power was usually restored for between two to three hours in the early part of the day when the residents would have gone to work and totally interrupted for the rest of the day.

Adeola said that the harsh weather had left some residents of the estate with heat rash.

A former Chairman, Community Development Association (CDA) in the area, Mr Nathaniel Okoro, told NAN that before now, IE could supply power for 12 hours a day, saying that consumers were able to establish a routine for themselves.

“Now the situation is horrifying. You get one hour or at best two hours at a stretch which distorts one’s routine.

“There is no specific time or pattern as to when to expect power supply, making it difficult for residents to plan usage of the power supplied. It is that bad,’’ he said.

Okoro lamented that the officials attached to the Akowonjo Business Unit were not responsive to the plight of the residents of the estate.

He, however, decried inability of IE to supply electricity to residents.

Another resident, Mr Tony Coker, said that the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and the Generating Companies (GENCOs) did not care about the plight of residents because they enjoyed a monopoly of power generation and distribution which must change.

“These DISCOs and GENCOs should be abolished and the Federal Government should break the monopoly of the power sector. In Gowon Estate for instance, electricity supply has collapsed; it is restored at their discretion.

“People with prepaid metres are not given power supply; power is supplied to those that have post-paid metres.

“Why? So, that at the end of the month, estimated bills will be served to them,’’ he said.

A trader, Mrs Maureen Ayuba, lamented that her business in Gowon Estate was usually in the evening hours and was forced to operate without power supply.

Ayuba said the epileptic power supply situation also affected water supply because residents could not pump but were at the mercy of water vendors.

“We now buy six jerry cans of water for between N300 and N400,’’ the trader said.

Ikeja Electric in a message to customers in the estate, said: “Dear Customer, the current supply interruption is due to cable fault on Kuwait 11kv Distribution Transformer supplying your vicinity.

“Our Engineers are currently working to resolve this. Please be assured that supply will be restored as soon as the maintenance is completed. Thank you for allowing us serve you.’’

(NAN)

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