BEDC Electricity Plc. (BEDC) has further demonstrated its commitment to reducing electrical accidents among school children and tampering with electricity equipment as it continued with its Safety Sensitization campaigns in primary and secondary schools with a donation of over 20,000 exercise books with safety tips to some schools in Edo state. The safety sensitization is part of the BEDC Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme.
Speaking during the sensitization campaign held at Eyean Secondary School in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo state, recently, Health, Environment and Safety Manager of BEDC, Mr. Gilbert Nweke educated the students on the dangers resulting from unsafe acts such as tampering with electrical installations, living and trading under high tension overhead lines, overcrowded electrical sockets, stepping/ touching lines (electrical wires) and playing near distribution sub- stations etc.
The Principal, Eyean Secondary school, Mr. P.K Idemudia, who was elated at the exercise expressed appreciation to BEDC for the visit, saying: ” this is a good innovation by BEDC, it is the first time we are witnessing this campaign from any electricity service providers in the country,”.
He advised other distribution companies (Discos) to take a cue from BEDC to reach out to children who formed major part of the vulnerable segment of their customer population that are more prone to electrical accident.”
The Head of CSR Project, Mrs. Felicia Nlemoha said “the campaign will promote safety in the use of electricity at home, schools, road, and workplace and reduce the rate of electricity accidents and hazards amongst students, adding “the students will now become safety ambassadors in their various homes.”
She further stated that as part of give back to the society, selected schools will get educational materials from BEDC which includes branded exercise books and snapper frames inscribed with safety tips, safety message, amongst other items.
“In addition to the safety campaign, BEDC will also commence the formation of energy clubs called ‘Joules’ in secondary schools. The growth of Joules club will metamorphose into a debate competition among member schools. The winners of the competition will in turn become brand ambassadors of BEDC.
“The objectives of the Joules clubs is to groom secondary students to take up careers in the electricity industry and to boost the current drive by BEDC and other Discos to tackle manpower gap in the power sector.” She added.
According to Mrs. Nlemoha, It will also encourage students to embrace the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiative in their career path, especially the females and also bridge the knowledge gap in the power industry by educating students on the entire electricity value chain.
It will be recalled that BEDC had earlier visited some primary and secondary schools in Edo state which included those in; Ogbe, Oliha, Iyase Ugbekun, Ologbosere, and Imaguero Secondary School, in addition to Isohan, Ogenerie primary schools.
The sensitization programme had commenced with visits to seven primary schools in Benin City, Edo state where about 5,000 safety exercise books and fliers were distributed to primary school pupils who were also sensitized on dangers of electricity, safety tips and dos and don’ts when using electricity. BEDC says the exercise is on-going as more schools in BEDC franchise states will also be visited in due course.