Staff and students of the Odorgonno Senior High and Basic Schools have called for the complete removal of items at a liquified petroleum gas (LPG) station located close to the two schools.
They said although the entrance to the facility had been locked up by the Ga Central Municipal Assembly, LPG items left on the site still posed danger to them.
The Headmistress of the Odorgonno SHS, Dr Shine Ofori, and the Headteacher of the Odorgonno Model Basic School, Mrs Vic Gyatsen, told the Graphic Youth World that the closure of the gas station was not enough and that items in the facility must be evacuated to ensure their total safety and also enable the SHS students to use the place for other infrastructure projects.
They said the land belonged to the school and the owners of the LPG station were aware of that.
Dr Ofori also confirmed that the owners of the LPG station had stopped operating since November last year after the Ga Central Assembly locked it up.
She stated that she was still not really convinced that the owners of the station had stopped working completely since in the past they stopped operating the facility anytime there was a gas explosion in the country but returned later to continue their operations after discussions on the issue had died down.
This statement was also corroborated by Mrs Gyatsen. Dr Ofori said the danger posed by the facility had come up at various board meetings and culminated in a discussion with the owners who agreed to move the facility but later changed their minds.
Other institutions written to over the matter, she said, included the Ghana Education Service (GES), National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the Ga Central Assembly.
“When the assembly took up the matter about two years ago, it got stuck somewhere because the owner took the matter to court,” she said and added that the current Municipal Chief Executive, Dr Emmanuel Lamptey, took up the matter and locked up the place in November last year.
“The MCE has also written to the NPA to remove everything within the facility, but since November the items are still there, although the place is locked up,” she said. Mrs Gyatsen noted that the basic school, which was closer to the gas station, suffered the most when the station was in operation, stressing that the kindergarten pupils used to inhale the gas whenever it was being discharged.
A student of the Odorgonno SHS, Master Bismark Gyan, said anytime he saw the gas station, it evoked memories of the June 3 and the Madina gas explosions.
Miss Della Asabea said her concentration was always poor anytime she had to go tothe assembly hall for a programme, pointing out that “this facility is not good for a residential or school environment”.
Master Joseph Adei said he was happy that some action had been taken on the gas station because it was such a worry “when we smelt gas each time a tanker discharged gas”.
Two students of the Odorgonno Model Basic School - Leslie Opoku and Jewel Badu— noted that they were excited about the closure of the facility because they used to be sacred.
For his part, the Ga Central MCE, Dr Lamptey, told the Graphic Youth World that items left on the site were still a concern to the assembly because “we want to clear the place but we do not have the expertise to do so”.
In view of that, he said, the assembly had written to the NPA which had the expertise to evacuate the items but it was yet to respond to the request.
“It is the NPA that is delaying us now. If we had the expertise, we would have done that long ago,” he said.
Asked whether the matter was in court, he said no.
The Public Relations Officer of the NPA, Mr Anny Osabutey, said the authority frowned on the setting up of LPG facilities in such localities in view of the dangers involved.
However, he said, before any action to remove the facility was taken the authority would have to meet the owners of the facility for the
Remove LPG station
The danger posed by the facility had come up at various board meetings and culminated in a discussion with the owners who agreed to move the facility but later changed their minds.