ANYTIME a disaster strikes in this country, especially one that can be prevented, the typical Ghanaian attitude comes into play—we engage in a lot of talking with little or sometimes no action. Some even go beyond talking to proffer practicable measures to prevent a repeat of such disasters.
SADLY after we have poured out our lamentations and said all the beautiful things that when implemented could prevent a repeat of such preventable catastrophes we go to sleep thinking that all is well. This is not the way to go about it if indeed we want to avoid a repeat of such avoidable disasters.
YES we know there are disasters which prevention is difficult. Those are ones that could be classified as natural disasters. Like the recent storm that hit the coastal parts of Florida, USA. Even in those natural occurrences precautionary measures are taken to avert collateral damage.
THE key factor here is the lack of action that must follow to prevent these disasters. Today is of the firmest belief that the deadly Atomic gas blast, which incident claimed the lives of seven (7) innocent persons and injured over one hundred, could have been avoided if our regulatory institutions had religiously been performing their functions.
THE paper has been compelled to revisit this subject because of what the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Peter Abum Sarkodie, said at a press conference recently his outfit following the incident. In fact, Today believes that the EPA came out because of the loads of flaks it received from the citizenry, in the wake of the gas explosion at the Atomic junction.
ACCORDING to the EPA boss, there are no clear laws preventing the building of fuel dumps and siting of liquefied gas (LPG) stations at industrial or residential areas. Is that to suggest that anybody at all with the wherewithal can get up and go for a permit and when granted can site a fuel/LPG station anywhere he/she deems fit? Well, that seems to be the order of the day!
IT must be pointed out that laws are made to regulate people’s actions and not the reverse. Therefore, the mere fact that there is no law that prevents the siting of LPG and fuel depots at crowded areas does not mean that EPA should be granting permits to people to be building fuel stations anywhere.
INDEED it behooves the EPA to also ensure that they take into consideration where these LPG and fuel stations are going to be sited. In that way the EPA will not be granting permits to persons to site fuel dumps/gas filling stations to endanger lives in crowded neighbourhoods.
THE point Today is making in this comment is that EPA and other regulatory institutions must sit up and ensure that we do not witness unnecessary deaths like the incident at the Atomic junction.