Living under high tension wires: Abuja residents gamble with death

SOME power lines known as high voltage cables or high tension wires transmit electrical energy over long distances at very high voltage. These wires pose severe dangers due to the strength of the current being transmitted, but some Abuja residents live and transact business very close to these cables.

Living under high tension wires: Abuja residents gamble with death

SOME power lines known as high voltage cables or high tension wires transmit electrical energy over long distances at very high voltage. These wires pose severe dangers due to the strength of the current being transmitted, but some Abuja residents live and transact business very close to these cables.

The dangers associated with proximity to high tension transmission lines have made the government prohibit building construction under such wires.

Laws such as the Nigerian Electricity Supply and Installation Standards Regulations of 2015 have been restricted to residents from building or transacting under high tension wires.

For cables with 330 kilovolts (kV) voltage levels, the regulation requires a distance of 50 metres from the line and 30 metres from 132kV wires. For wires with lower voltage levels such as 33kV and 11kV, the right of way required is 11metres. This measurement is to be taken from the centre of the line on either side.

But some residents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) seem to be unbothered by these laws or the inherent danger. Instead, they constantly erect structures along the Right of Way (RoW) of these lines.

A thriving car dealership situated directly under a high tension pole can be spotted by passersby along the Gudu area of Apo.

A car business under a high voltage cable in Gudu, Apo. .

In other parts of the city, several business owners and residents have erected structures under high tension cables, giving various reasons for flouting these laws.

Abuja businessman Steve Eke runs a car dealership directly under a high tension pole at Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Lugbe.