National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has called on the media to join them as they embark on series of educational campaigns across the country to draw the attention of Ghanaians to safety measures they need to apply when dealing with petroleum products.
The call was made in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi, as some high ranking members of the NPA led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Alhassan Tampoli, met media practitioners in the region to first inform them about their upcoming launch of National Petroleum Safety Campaign 2017.
Mr. Tampoli in his welcome address to the practitioners said the safety campaign was necessitated by the increase in petroleum related fire outbreaks in the country in recent times which have claimed many lives and left several others permanently maimed.
Recalling the several petroleum related explosions from which the country lost many lives, he said, ‘these are why we see the media as a strong partner in this safety campaign.
The NPA CEO also educated the media practitioners about certain steps they need to take whenever they see people indulging in acts that are likely to enhance a fire outbreak.
“You have the duty to stop anybody fuelling at the filling station with the engine on or anybody smoking near a filling station”. He noted.
He also reiterated the need for caution in setting up auto mechanic shops close to filling stations, warning that some of their activities were most likely to spark fire.
He, therefore, pleaded with the citizens to draw the attention of the Authority should any such occurrence be seen around their vicinity.
Even before the launch of the National Petroleum Safety Campaign 2017 which comes off in August, the NPA has been travelling across the country engaging diverse stakeholders about the causes, effects and prevention of petroleum related fire outbreaks.
According to the Ghana National Fire Service, 15 cases of petroleum fires were recorded in the country in the first quarter of 2017, a phenomenon which calls for concern from well-meaning Ghanaians.
The safety campaign is therefore a needful response to the lapses in the petroleum industry in the country, according to the Chief Director, Inspection and Monitoring at the NPA, Mrs. Esther Anku.
Mrs. Anku said the main goal of the campaign which is themed: ‘People Safety First’ is to stop these accidents in the petroleum industry.
She also announced that as part of their campaign to improve on safety in the operations of petroleum dealers, the NPA was instituting a Safety Day which would be observed once annually.
Story: From James Appiakorang Jr., Kumasi, Accra