Hundreds of residents of Community 17 in Tema staged a demonstration against the siting of some fuel stations close to a school in their area.
Clad in red and black attires, the aggrieved residents expressed their anger amidst drumming and dancing to ‘war’ songs to send their message across.
They carried placards with the inscription ‘no death before action’, ‘Community 16,17 and 18 cannot turn Atomic Junction, Circle, the filing stations must go’, ‘Mr President our children are at risk’, ‘Save our community’, ‘NPA Alhassan Tampuli obey the President’, ‘we need more supermarkets not filling stations’, ‘we own our lives’, ‘President come to our community’, among others.
According to the concerned residents of Communities 16/17 Baatsona and Lashibi, they want the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to relocate the two fuel stations to save any future disaster.
The residents said albeit petitioning authorities such as EPA, NPA, National Security, including the Office of the President over the siting of the stations in the community, they ignored their cries and looked on for construction works to continue.
They are, therefore, threatening to take the law into their hands if authorities are unable to take the necessary action within the shortest possible time, claiming several efforts have been made through various stakeholders to get the filling station relocated, but all to no avail.
Their renewed protest comes on the back of the fuel stations explosions that occurred at Atomic Junction and Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, in which several lives were lost and some injured.
Addressing the demonstrators on Saturday, Lucas Y. Chigabatia, leader of the protesters, disclosed that their lives are under threat as a result of past explosions.
The leader of the protestors expressed his dismay that although NPA and EPA assured them of closing the filing stations, “construction works continued, with the onset of rains, water filled the large dugout for fuel tanks posing danger of collapse of the fence wall of one of the adjoining properties. Residents submitted a second petition on the March 20, 3017 to draw the attention of the authorities to the danger.”
He added, “After waiting for about six months, the residents annoyingly received a letter from the CEO of the NPA informing us that the authority had granted permission for the construction of the service station.”
From Vincent Kubi, Tema