Tema: Children shun school park for fear of gas explosion

Some school children at Tema International and the Tema Ridge schools, have refused to play on their schools’ parks because they are close to a Liquefied Petroleum Gas station that shares a wall with the school.

The school children are afraid to go to the park to participate in Physical training, due to the T-Terkpor Gas Filling Station.

The T-Tekpor Gas station, which shares a common wall with the Tema Ridge school and the Tema International School, is located between the two schools at Tema Community 21.

Citi News gathered that, the gas station has changed ownership three times since it started operations in the area somewhere in 2008, five years after the establishment of both schools in the area.

The gas station borders the Tema Ridge school on the left, and the Tema international school on the right side.

“Some of the kids sometimes complain of the smell of gas while playing on the field so ever since the explosion occurred at Atomic junction, the school children have resolved not to play on the field due to the fear of any form of explosion,” a worried proprietress lamented to Citi News.

They noted that, it is about time relevant authorities take the bull by the horn to ensure the immediate relocation of the gas station since it posed a real danger to the lives of the over one thousand five hundred school children in the immediate catchment area.

“We have written several letters since 2008 to the National Petroleum Authority, the Energy Ministry, Office of the President, Ashaiman Municipal Assembly, Tema Development Corporation among others but to no avail. Why must we sit and wait till the unexpected happens before we act?. Ever since we started pursuing this relocation of the gas filling station some eight years ago, it has changed hands three times from one owner to the other.”

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Citi News’ visit to the area revealed that there are some other schools also close to the gas station, apart from the Tema Ridge School and  the Tema International School, which also stand the risk of getting affected should there be any explosion.

Activities of some artisans such as welders and mechanics are also not far from the gas station.

The heads of the schools noted that, several appeals have fallen on deaf ears without any response. They have thus appealed to authorities to act swiftly to save them from any future catastrophe.

“This is a very grave danger it poses, the reality of the matter is that, in the event of an accident, evacuating little children is going to be very difficult. One wonders what could happen if something goes wrong. This is the time to let reasoning prevail because there’s been so many explosions in the last three years alone and we started this effort more than eight years ago and we are still on it. As Ghanaians, we should face the realities of the times and realise that citing of a gas plant is incompatible with other activities like school. We appeal to relevant authorities to take the necessary and courageous steps to get this danger removed” another school head noted.

The Assembly Member for the Niiman Electoral Area, Charles Kissi, noted that he has written many times to EPA, and other relevant agencies for the possible closure and relocation of the gas station but to no avail.

“We were invited to a meeting last week by the NPA, but I wasn’t happy with the outcome of the meeting which suggested that we reason with the station owner for the possibility of relocating. Why must we look at the possibilities of relocating it either than the NPA stamping its authority and giving a direct directive for the station to close down?”

Mr. Kisi revealed that, the T-Terkpor gas station has no permit with the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly, and sees no reason why authorities are adamant in closing it down.

“As we speak, the T-Terkpor Gas station has no permit, so why must we lobby such an organization that poses danger to hundreds of innocent children?” Mr. Kissi angrily narrated.

By: Elvis Washington/citifmonline.com/Ghana