How the Okada/Keke Ban Could Lead to More Electricity Supply

By on February 6, 2020

Imagine getting a prompt from your fitness app that reads, “You are walking more than you do on a typical day”. This was the reality for millions in Africa’s most populous megacity yesterday. People had to walk to their various destinations as a result of the ban on bikes (okadas) and street tricycles popularly known as “Kekes”.

The ban has proven to be strenuous for the 22 million Lagosians that rely on them for transport and survival. The reason behind the ban is apparently to “protect Lagosians from the negative effects of illegal modes of transportation, insecurity, and dangerous road users.” So it got us thinking: the Lagos state government might as well use this stone to kill two birds by introducing Flooring Tech that generates electricity from footsteps.

This technological advancement, first introduced by Laurence Kemball-Cook, turns footsteps into energy. Pretty stepping right?

How it works
Kemball-Cook broke down the possibilities; “when a person walks, they generate 5 watts of energy continuously. So you are (we all are) a potential 5-watt power feed”. imagine 1 million people walking; that’s 5MW of energy (quite a lot right!). Special tiles placed under the flooring harness kinetic energy from people walking above and converts it to electrical energy that can then be used to power up devices, streetlights or stored for future use. These micro power plants generating power on a micro-scale could benefit countries with a severe energy deficit. Humans going about their days could contribute to lighting up the country.

This technology is not new to Lagos. In 2015, it was installed at a football pitch at the Federal College of Education. 100 tiles were installed underneath the pitch to harness the kinetic energy from the footballers. The resultant capacity was used to power the surrounding floodlights.

Imagine if this technology is installed on pavements across the city and used to power streetlights, charging ports and other public facilities! The Lagos state government could turn this ban from a huge political faux pas into a positive electrification journey which doubtlessly would be more satisfying for the walking populace.

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