I can still hear the wail and cry of the innocent. I can still feel the plight of the afflicted. I can still see the pains on their faces. Is this the reward for being a citizen of this lovely country? What went wrong with the initial arrangement made by our forefathers? Is it GREED or NEGLIGENCE? What could have been averted doomed us finally on the 3rd of June 2015. Whose shortcoming caused it, no one seems to ask that. But we pour out condolences from the length & breadth of the country and the world at large.
Critically thinking, it seems as a country we depend solely on the mercies of the Almighty and not the usage of the “CEREBRUM”. Every country has a constitution to guide its citizens, so has its regulations and codes to direct institutions.
The world had a breakthrough when we discovered crude and started refining it for our consumption. “Breakthrough” isn’t it? more than 4000 years ago it was discovered. From the Ignacy Lukasiewicz’s invented procedure to the progress made by James Young in petroleum distillation, lives of mankind should have been like that of paradise. Instead, this discovery has caused more political, economic & social problems than we can contain. The latest of them can be described as “death traps laying await innocent souls to devour”.
In 3rd world countries, there is the social canker of unemployment. Governments try hard, so to speak, to put job opportunities in place for the citizenry to secure better future. The few lucky ones with capital do venture into the operations of fuel stations due to it lucrative nature. Truthfully speaking, many have made good fortunes out of it.
But in recent times, it seems the business eye of Ghanaians have been turned to this avenue. Hence the upward plunging of fuel stations across the country. The sad turn of event is that these fuel stations are being positioned either in or around residential areas posing treat to residents.
It is as if regulatory bodies such as the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], the Ghana National Fire Service [GNFS], National Petroleum Authority [NPA] and the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology [MEST] care less or have turned deaf ears to the cries of the Ghanaian populace.
This situation is no different in the North, precisely, the Tamale Metropolitan. The NPA’s regulations stipulates that, gas and fuel stations should be sited 30.8 meters or 100 feet away from residential areas. This, one can say isn’t the practice on the ground.
Here in Tamale, one can not pass through principal streets without siting a fuel station. As I ride my motor bike through town, I could count not less than 30 fuel stations stationed right within the residence of Tamale.
A gas/fuel station situated adjacent Success Collage and direct opposite the Village water project. Right in the middle of town, Goil filling station is situated in between Barclays bank and GT bank with other businesses around. This same area house the “Gulkpe Naa” palace and the Tamale central mosque where hundreds of people worship daily. Imagine the damage if danger looms on a Friday?
Riding through Sakasaka one of the largest residential areas in the Metropolis, one could site Shell filling stations on both sides of the road. The most recent siting that has raised eyebrows and left residents questioning is the one situated around KAPSAD clinic (Kukuo).
That is an outrageous thing one can ever do. Fuel station just in front of a clinic. Must we wait to be hit with another disaster before we put on our thinking cap? As per my observation, each fuel/gas station counted is situated right in town in one way or the other.
The time has come for us to take actions before our in-actions goes against us. Must we always rely on the mercies of God and think about harvests in our pockets? June 3rd happened once and there is no room for a second. Enough is Enough. Tell another to reach the other, until “they” listen to our cries we wont stop.