Nigeria: Dangers of Telecom Masts
19 April 2012
A medical report has confirmed that telecom masts in residential areas could pose health risks. Pa Afolabi Oyekanmi, who permitted a telecom company to erect a mast in his compound, is now full of regrets. According to him, it is the cause of the myriad of health challenges he now faces. "I curse the day the mast was erected here.
If I die, the telecom company is responsible," he said. The medical report issued to him at the Ado Ekiti University Teaching Hospital confirmed that some of the ailments "were caused by radiation from the telecommunication mast" erected within his premises.
The Adebusola Ogundipe family in Ibadan, Oyo State, is also on the verge of "extinction". The mother suffers sensation of pains and tingling on the legs and has been diagnosed at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, to have developed leukemia (cancer of the blood). Her children suffer memory loss, dizziness and bleed from their noses.
The veterinary doctor father said his domestic animals have all been wiped out. Doctors have linked emission of the electromagnetic impulses from the masts located close to their homes as the primary cause of their crises.
Telecom masts in residential and educational areas are dangerous but the regulatory agencies, the National Environmental Standards Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), have failed to enforce the World Health Organisation (WHO) regulations concerning the harmful practice. WHO warns that masts should be located at least 10 metres away from residential quarters.
Though telecommunication has created jobs and given a boost to investments in the country, we frown at the attitude of the average Nigerian landlord who puts money first in letting out a piece of land before thinking of the health hazards to the community. We also condemn the callous activities of telecom firms that capitalise on the people’s naivety to send them to their early graves.
The adverse effects connected with regular contact with radioactive substances are legion, according to researchers across the globe. These killer masts transmit poisonous gases that impair the immune system and human neurological functions.
Frequent and close contacts with them could hamper memory and sleep patterns, cause brain tumours, cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. The radiation impact on fertility and metabolism can cause depression and fatigue, according to a recent research conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Other diseases like leukemia, cancer, depression, lymphoma, eurtropenia, lymphocytosis and platelet result from hoisting telecoms masts within 10 metres radius to human habitation. It is further compounded by environmental risks. Houses located close to these masts also experience daily cracks due to vibration from the generating plants that power the system.
We insist that regulatory agencies should protect Nigerians by ensuring that erring companies are heavily sanctioned and forced to compensate people harmed by the callous activities of erecting masts at the wrong places.
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