General News of Monday, 9 October 2017
The Institute for Energy Security (IES) has charged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to institute measures to prevent needless deaths and destruction of property to gas explosions.
This follows the Atomic Junction gas explosion on Saturday, October 7 which claimed seven lives, with some 132 others sustaining various degrees of injuries in the accident.
“The frequency and the impacts of the explosions are a clear manifestation of the absence of rigorous standards and regulations associated with LPG handling within the Ghanaian downstream petroleum sector. It is therefore necessary for the regulatory bodies within the sector to move beyond the rhetoric to save this avoidable and embarrassing phenomenon,” a statement signed by IES Principal Research Analyst Richmond Rockson, stated.
The release pointed out that from 2007 to date, the country has recorded over 110 deaths and 500 injuries from gas explosions under differing circumstances. Within the last three years, the country has experienced eight gas explosions, with Accra recording seven of such unfortunate incidents.
“Aside the fatalities and injuries are economic and social cost running into million dollars for every incident that occurred,” IES lamented.
IES noted that the Atomic Junction gas explosion “could have been avoided if we had acted on the recommendations of previous explosions, and beyond the promises”.
“It is imperative that the NPA, EPA, and allied agencies move plans that are collecting dust on ‘drawing-boards’ to implementation on the ground. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.
“The reforms must go beyond banning the filling of LPG bottles at retail sites, to include the appropriate siting of LPG retailing stations, consistent and effective monitoring of LPG sites, stringent regulatory and licensing regimes etc,” the release added.
IES further urged the general public to support the regulatory bodies in implementing the needed reforms to save lives and property worth millions that are lost to such disasters.