The Precautionary Approach to the Installation of Telecommunication Masts in Residential Areas in Nigeria: A Legal Response
Keywords:Precautionary approach, environmental law, telecommunication installations, electromagnetic field radiation, environmental pollution
The advent of Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) in Nigeria has brought immense advantages to the social and economic activities in the country. Despite the various advantages, the installation of telecommunication masts and base stations in residential areas has led to anxieties, fears and debates about the possible adverse effects on human health as well as security of properties. Instead of addressing the fears, the telecommunication companies continue to install telecommunication masts and base stations in the residential areas unabated. The article assesses the impact of these installations on health and properties of the residents in order to consider the reality of the fears and examines Nigerian laws to find out whether there are regulations that control how telecommunication masts are to be installed in residential areas to prevent health and property threat to the inhabitants. The article employs both doctrinal and non-doctrinal approaches of the qualitative legal research method by analysing legal and relevant texts and by conducting site surveys as well as unstructured interviews with residents who live near telecom masts.
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