ASSESSMENT AND BENCHMARKING OF THERMAL POWER STATIONS’ IMPACT ON HOST COMMUNITies: CASE STUDY OF NTARIKON AND LOGBABA POWER STATIONS
MAFFO FOSSO Priscilla Laure
Department of Development Studies
Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Environment and Natural Resources Management
Throughout the edge, mankind have discovered and mastered diverse form of energy, evolving from fire for lighting to electricity (Smil, 2004; DiLaura, 2008; McLamb, 2011). This continuous evolution have led to the improvement of the electricity sector, making available nowadays various electricity facilities such as thermal power station which were using fossil fuel as source of energy (Chappine, 2003; Atkinson, 2015). Unfortunately, the combustion of fossil fuel is accompanied by pollutant emission which have recently been associated with health issues and social disturbance amongst host community (White, 2015). In addition power station’s operation is followed by noise pollution, which have been revealed to be far above the World Health Organization authorized limitation, affecting hereby people’s health, living condition and economics (World development report, 1993; Kisku et al., 2006). Therefore, this research is an exploratory and empirical study which assesses and benchmark the socio-economic effect of diesel and natural gas based power station in two host communities in Cameroon. To do so, power station’s generated noise and air pollution impact on host community’s health, setting and quality life have been assessed at Logbaba (Douala) natural gas power station and Ntarikon (Bamenda) diesel power station; then both power station have been compared and benchmarked based on international best practices, afterward. Data were collected through field observation, administration of semi-structured questionnaires and interview. The result shows that at Ntarikon and Logbaba power station, the effects of noise and air pollution on host community members varies according to the distance of living from them. As such, those who were living from 0 to 50 meter from the power station were more affected than those living at more than 250 meter from the power station. Therefore, at Ntarikon (first perimeters), the level of noise have been reported to be very high generating hereby serious annoyance, frequent sleep disturbances, difficulty to study and communication interferences amongst community members. At Logbaba (first perimeter) , the level of noise have been reported to be high generating hereby annoyance amongst community members but none of them have developed sleep disturbances, difficulty to study and communication interferences because of the power station operation. The benchmarking of Logbaba and Ntarikon power station demonstrate a 55% and 52.78% completion towards best practices for noise management and 92.85% and 50% completion toward best practices for air pollution management respectively. Amongst others, the study recommended the installation of a noise barrier all around Ntarikon power station.
Keys words: host community, power station, externality, noise, air pollution.