Residents of the Upper East and North East Regions have expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of gas refilling stations in the areas.
The people, including traders, market women and drivers, said they are compelled to transport their cylinders to neighbouring towns with gas refilling stations for refills.
Speaking at separate engagements with officials of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) during an LPG awareness and sensitisation campaign, the residents said using their private or commercial vehicles to reach distant towns and refill their cylinders adds to the cost of buying liquified petroleum gas (LPG).
They said the situation has forced some of them to abandon their cylinders and resort to charcoal and wood for cooking.
For instance, there is no gas refilling station at Sandema and surrounding communities, and so the people have to transport their cylinders to Bolgatanga, Navrongo or Paga for refills.
The residents therefore appealed that government should push for siting more gas refilling stations in the North East and Upper East Regions to ensure availability and accessibility of LPG in those areas.
They also called on government to reduce the price of LPG to make it more affordable.
The NPA team from the Corporate Affairs Directorate and Gas Directorate conducted the sensitisation campaign through one-on-one engagements with traders, market women, drivers, durbars and radio interviews.
Areas visited in the Upper East Region so far include Bolgatanga, Navrongo, Paga, Sandema and Fumbisi. It also had engagements at Walewale in the North East Region.
The LPG awareness and sensitisation campaign, being conducted in collaboration with Lyme Haus Solutions, aims at creating awareness among consumers on the need to switch from firewood and charcoal to LPG usage.
Speaking at an LPG sensitisation durbar in Bolgatanga on Thursday, the Consumer Services Manager-National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Mrs. Eunice Budu Nyarko, cautioned the people against keeping cylinders indoors while cooking; and reminded them that cylinders are supposed to be replaced after 10 years.
She stressed the need for people to avoid placing empty or filled cylinders near naked fire or inflammable liquid.
Mrs. Nyarko asked the people to replace cylinder hoses every two years for domestic use and six months for commercial use, and ensure that valves are well-fitted to avoid leakages and explosions.
She again asked the people to allow about one hour for gas in newly-filled cylinders to settle down before usage.
The Consumers Services Manager advised drivers to keep cylinders in a vertical positions in the boots of vehicles to avoid explosions.
Taking his turn, the Upper East Regional Fire Officer, ADOI Akobanyan Bright, stressed the need for users of LPG to ensure adequate ventilation for cylinders; to light the match before turning on the gas; and keep regulators in the off-position when the cylinder is not in use.
For his part, the NPA Communications Manager, Mr. Mohammed Abdul-Kudus – who welcomed the people on behalf of the NPA Chief Executive Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, asked the people to observe gas-related safety tips to avoid explosions, resultant injuries and loss of lives.