The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) say they are not aware management of the new Kejetia Market has deposited 9,320 volume of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) at the installation site of the market.
They claimed if such is the case, it will be total breach of safety protocols guiding the operation of petroleum products in voluminous quantities.
High ranking officials from the agencies as well as the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) summoned management of the market after Akoma FM reported on 3news.com about a “looming fire outbreak as gas leaks at the new Kejetia market”.
Spokesperson for the traders Andrews Coffie, speaking in an interview on Akoma FM’s morning show GhanAkoma ,told host Aduanaba Kofi Asante Ennin that “sometimes especially in the afternoons, you will smell the strong scent of LPG and we know that the utility installation where the gas tank is deposited is closer to our shops”.
Less than 24 hours after the report, the four government agencies invited the Akoma FM reporter, Nana Asenso Mensah, and management of the market to deliberate over the root cause of the gas leakage, and to suggest possible immediate solutions to restore safety measures within and around the market.
During the closed door meeting, it was revealed that management of the market had deposited a huge volume of LPG at the utility site without the knowledge and approval of appropriate agencies such as EPA, NPA and NADMO.
The Ashanti Regional Director for EPA Samuel Oteng impressed on the market management to strictly adhere to all safety measures especially activities surrounding the utility installations and must conform to all safety guidelines.
“Safety measures at the gas storage area at the new Kejetia Market must be prioritized,” Mr Oteng said, explaining that “preventive measures at the gas installation site needs a collaborative action by all stakeholders”.
Mr. Oteng urged management of the facility to work with National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the Service to ensure the safety of the storage point.
Traders last week lamented a number challenges at the new market, among them being the gas leakage, inadequate entry points and others, complaining that they are affecting patronage of their goods.
After the closed door meeting, the delegates moved to the utility installation site where the gas is deposited, Ashanti Regional Director for NADMO Kwabena Nsenkyire directed the immediate eviction of traders whose activities are closer to the installation site.
“I have called the KMA mayor [that] traders whose shops are closer to the gas tank must be moved away because I understand some people even light coal pots and gas cookers among under naked fires just few meters away from this site.”
He allayed fears the facility is sitting on time bomb as he explained that “the gas leakage was when the safety officers were changing the valve of the gas tank. So, it doesn’t mean the gas is leaking”.