In our outcry for job opportunities in the country Ghana, we had some organizations set up which provided employment for students who completed the Senior High School (SHS) level, Tertiary and other unemployed citizens in our country.
However, some of these job opportunities had to be our honorable filling stations which have provided vacancies for people and also served as great revenue for the government. The common uses of cars nowadays have caused the establishment of more filling stations both big and small.
Due to this, the youths are happy to have this job opportunity to be able to earn some income to sustain their lives. But then, where unearth from this sudden fear in our heart, making us so scared about this honorable job opportunity? Where from this distress causing us not to feel safe anymore in our homes, cars and business places?
The nearness of gas and fuel stations has made it easy for people to get access to them anytime, anywhere. Therefore, we would have been comfortable if these stations will cause no harm to our environments.
There have been cases of explosion recorded in the year 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively in the country causing people to go to their early grave before their time. To recall, there were incidents of explosion in places such as, Circle in Greater Accra, one in Takoradi in the Western Region, and one at Kasoa in the Central Region.
The most recent one occurred at Atomic Junction near Madina in Accra. Yet, several homes and residential lands are seen converted into petrol stations.
The development is causing many to live in fear. And if action-oriented measures are not taken by city authorities to stop the massive abuse of laid down rules and regulations in the construction of gas and fuel stations, the consequences will be dreadful for the country.
However, in the rules and regulations of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), it instructs that gas and fuel stations should be sited at a minimum of 30.8 meters or 100 feet away from residential areas. But here lies the case, fuel and gas stations are found fighting for space with people who either have their homes or businesses closer to them. In no doubt, we are therefore asked to accept this by the arguments that, the expansion of homes and businesses are the ones creating the closeness.
In addition, there are some situations where fuel and gas stations are being located in the ‘middle of town’, compound of some home, close to companies and communities. These poor positions of the stations have been over looked as the regulation to monitor their activity is not effective. Also people are being given permits either directly or indirectly to operate within the very regulation set to ensure safety.
We need to have in mind that, safety starts with regulations and the intention of these regulations are to ensure safety in the country. Therefore, we cannot abuse them, by doing whatever we want and still think we are safe by applying our own set of rules and regulations.
The wish of Ghanaians is not for authorities to have discussions on the issues of danger and at the end close that chapter without any solution. Instead, the leaders of the country especially the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) are expected to be on their feet to ensure that the necessary regulations to ensure safety are being highly implemented without fear or favor.
The gas explosion menace is a problem that can’t be attributed to any single individual, Ghanaian leader or political party. Hence, gas and fuel stations including homes and businesses that are built in unauthorized sites are to be cautioned and taken through a serious scrutiny before the unexpected happens.
Story by: Marcia Yeboah/pinkfmonlinegh.com