Now that LPG bottling plants will be sited far away from congested or commercial areas to stem the tide of gas explosions that have wreaked havoc wherever they happened, citizens and their properties are insulated from further tragedy in the future.
Under the proposed new model, consumers now have to exchange their old empty gas cylinders for new ones while low risk stations will be designated to supply gas to vehicles. Initially there was some uproar from some operators, but after briefing and assurances from the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) all is set for a smooth roll-out. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also indicated that it will step up surveillance and compliance to ensure safety at all gas and fuel stations, and this suggests they intend leaving nothing to chance.
It is a welcome development, because negligence in the past has caused some devastating accidents wherein life and property have been devastated. John Pwamang, Acting Executive Director of the EPA, announced that to aid the Agency in its surveillance, it has acquired a number of analysers that will speed up its activities at the pumps.
Accra is gradually assuming the status of a mega-city, with a population that runs in the millions; therefore, there is a tendency for people to reside in commercial areas which have a number of fuel and gas stations scattered around – and any explosion can lead to fatalities and the destruction of properties.
Hence, after a few disasters that culminated in the Atomic Junction explosion late last year, a number of measures where adopted to ensure better safety for inhabitants and people engaged in commercial activities in vicinities where gas and fuel stations are located.
Part of the measures adopted is the re-circulation of gas cylinders supervised by the NPA. We are pleased that, finally, some measures are being put in place to ensure the safety of citizens from the occurrence of such disasters.
The EPA has joined the fray and is poised to ensure that no stone is left unturned in ensuring the safety of Ghanaians. Most of these disasters are avoidable provided the right measures are in place, and we are glad we are taking proactive measures.
It is now up to all and sundry to comply with the directives and ensure a more efficient and safe regime for filling gas cylinders and fuelling vehicles is in place and working.