A resident of Oyibi in the Kpong-Katamanso Municipality has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to close down a Cash Oil fuel station in the vicinity over safety concerns.
According to Mr Rodger Agyin, the outlet, sited at the Oyibi Junction and opened for business on May 29, 2022, was in a densely populated area, thereby exposing inhabitants to risks should a fire outbreak occur.
The petition, dated May 30, 2022, addressed to the Executive Director of the EPA, Henry Kokofu, and copied to the Ghanaian Times, said the lives of more than 2,800 school children who passed by the station were in danger.
“Many school children pass by that spot to go to school every morning. Thy Kingdom school has 250 children. Accra Grammar school has 702 children. RANA School has 270 children.
“KpongKatamanso Municipal Assembly School has 642 children. Presbyterian Primary School (A and B) has 1007 children,” it said.
Indicating that there were other private schools in the area, it said between 7:00 to 8:00 am every weekday, all the children passed in front of the fuel station to go to school and repeat the same journey when they close between noon and 4:00 pm.
“Several congested and poorly-ventilated stores are right behind the filling station. As there is no market at Oyibi, many people ply their trade at the Oyibi junction, leaving their toddlers on the ground, some of them crying and others playing,” the petition said.
The document drew the attention of the EPA to a wooden structure on the immediate left side of the filling station and the possibility that it could go aflame during any accident.
“Petrol is a highly flammable liquid! In case of fire, like the one that occurred at the Atomic Junction at Madina, hundreds of people, including many children, will perish. To prevent loss of life, the filling station must be closed down. Immediately! The Time for Precaution Is Now,” it said.
MrAgyin’s petition alleged that the family that gave up the parcel of land on which the fuel station sits sold it to another individual, not a company, with the expectation that the land would be used for a supermarket.
To avoid interruption from the public, it said, the area was covered with aluminium sheets during construction.
“After having lived there for over 40 years, the family stresses that because of the danger, they would never have agreed to the sale if they knew the land was going to be used for a filling station.
“Now people live in fear at the junction. Yet poor people are also entitled to human rights,” it said.
When contacted, the Head of the Environmental Assessment and Management Department of the EPA, Mr Kwabena Badu-Yeboah, confirmed receipt of the petition and promised to investigate the matter.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR