…. Says it has Huge Health, Environment and Economic Benefits

…. Partners NGO on Clean Lighting Project

Lagos State Government has recommended that households, industries and commercial buildings take up the retrofitting initiative of converting mercury-based fluorescent lamps and bulbs to a clean lighting usage system of light emitting diode (LED) bulbs in order to reduce exposure to mercury and energy consumption.

Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr. Oluysegun Ogboye, who made the recommendation, yesterday, at a briefing culminating the end of a public-private partnership pilot LED Lighting Retrofit Project of the Lagos State Government’s Secretariat Staff Clinic; the Folarin Coker Staff Clinic, by Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADeV Nigeria) under the aegis of Clean Lighting Coalition (CLiC), said that the State Government supports the campaign by the Clean Lighting Coalition and SRADeV Nigeria to eliminate exposure to mercury by transitioning to clean lighting usage and phase-out of mercury based bulbs.

Ogboye who was represented by the Director, Medical Administration, Training and Programs in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Olufunmilayo Shokunbi explained that the retrofitting of over 600 mercury based compact fluorescent lamps in the staff clinic to 452 LEDs bulbs by SRADev and CLiC, apart from reducing exposure to mercury at the facility has helped achieved electricity tariff savings of 50% in lighting usage and enhanced illumination quality.

He said: “The retrofit initiative which is basically “transition to LED” is a welcome initiative the State as it relates to the second pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S developmental agenda and it is also aimed at eliminating toxic mercury in lighting through the Minamata Convention on Mercury”.

Ogboye noted also that retrofitting project has helped improve employee productivity and reduce maintenance costs due to longevity and durability of LEDs, adding that the benefits achieved from the project include; removal of CFL bulbs in the clinic to reduce mercury exposure to staff & patients, transition to LED which conforms to environmental standards stipulated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the reduction and elimination of mercury-based lighting products and Nigeria’s National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy (NREEEP) to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment for Nigerians .

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In his words: “This campaign to eliminate use of mercury based bulbs (CFLs) is important to our healthy living condition as it prevents chronic diseases and effects of exposure to mercury such as neurological and behavioural disorders, kidney damage, reproduction defects, cardiovascular risks, irritation to the eyes, skin, and stomach; cough, chest pain, or difficulty breathing, insomnia, irritability, indecision, headache, weakness or exhaustion, and weight loss

Earlier in his address, the Executive Director, STRADeV, Dr. Leslie Adogame stated that STRADeV through Clean Lighting Coalition kicked off the Campaign for energy efficiency and elimination of mercury laden lamps in Nigeria by implementing the Country- Lighting Market Research which is aimed at gathering information that provides understanding of policy context to facilitate dialogue with policy makers to support the clean lighting transition adding that as biggest advantages of LED lighting is the opportunity for a higher quality lighting experience for people and businesses.

Dr. Adogame explained that retrofitting is simply replacing a fluorescent bulb with an LED, or converting the existing lighting fixtures in a building to an LED lighting fixture. He noted that inherent benefits of replacing fluorescent technology with LED include 50% lower lighting electricity bills, lower re-lamping and reducing maintenance costs, and most importantly achieving zero Mercury exposure; providing a better choice for people and the environment.

While commending the Lagos State Government for pioneering the clean lighting retrofit initiative in Nigeria, the Executive Director said that the retrofit of the Folarin Coker Staff Clinic process essentially covered series of meetings, recruitment of a certified Auditor, a detail lighting audit of the facility, recruitment of a certified electrician, a comprehensive retrofit exercise and a post-retrofit audit.

“It is noteworthy that the six months pilot project implemented by SRADeV Nigeria and supported by CLiC successfully retrofitted the Folarin Coker Staff Clinic Complex contributed to electricity bill savings of 50%, from 4,751 kWh per month to 2,393 kWh.

“The project also conformed to regulatory and environmental health by saving 3,350mg of mercury from 670 units of CFLs and 961,855.75g of Carbon dioxide (CO2) through reduction in electricity consumption. We were able to completely eliminate mercury from the lighting used in the clinic and prevent risk of mercury exposure to staff and patients. I sincerely thank the Lagos State Ministry of Health for enabling us to achieve the project goal successfully, and all other MDAs for their active participation and cooperation throughout this pilot project”. He said

Speaking in the same vein, the Campaign Lead, Clean Lighting Coalition (CLiC), Mrs. Rachel Kamande said that the clean Lighting Coalition launched the clean lighting market transformation pilots to demonstrate that large buildings can easily and cost effectively replace the outdated toxic lighting with energy efficient LEDs within a very short period of time.

Mrs Kamande explained further that retrofit pilots in hospitals promotes the link to sustainable health care energy, savings , toxic elimination and climate protection adding that the learnings from the pilot are envisioned to serve as an example that can be used in the transition process as well as motivate countries to establish minimum performance standards.

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