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Residents of Jonasi fight developer, landlord over location of fuel station

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Thu, 21 Oct 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Correspondence from Eastern Region:

Residents at Jonasi in the Eastern Region are protesting against the siting of a filling station owned by a private developer close to their homes and blocking access roads in the process.

According to the residents, the proximity of the station to homes is cause for worry. The intended facility, according to the residents is being sited at the same spot where a fuel station operated several years ago.

The National Petroleum Authority’s regulations stipulate that gas and fuel stations should be sited at a minimum of 30.8 metres or 100ft from residential areas.

Also, by international standards, a distance of 50 to 100 meters is required between gas stations and residential facilities.

The residents insist these regulations are all being violated.

Referring to the infamous Kwame Nkrumah Circle fire and flood disaster in 2015 which killed about 150 persons, Efo Komla Mensah, a resident whose house is located just meters away from the site, fears that the wrongful location of the filling station could pose a threat to residents of neighbouring houses.

“This is the center of the town and somebody is coming to put up a filling station [here]. In fact, we feel that our lives are at risk,” said the 71-year-old.

Fearing for the consequences of siting the project next door, he said he was compelled to post pictures of the development online to draw the attention of government to the imminent danger they were exposed to.

According to Efo Komla Mensah, all efforts to dissuade the developer against embarking on his intentions or ensure the necessary safety directives and provide an access road for them have proven futile as works are still being carried out at the site without the necessary precautions.

He said the closest he [developer] has come to addressing their concerns is his promise to provide insurance cover for all the affected residents.

He appealed to the Minister of Environment to as a matter of urgency, intervene in the impasse to resolve the issue.

“The sector minister who is in charge of the siting of these filling stations should come and check if it is true what the developer is telling us because I feel that our lives are going to be at risk,” he said.

An expectant mother, Yaa Esaah whose house is only feet away from the site lamented about the situation. According to her, she was once awoken in the middle of the night by thuds of rigorous heavy duty tipper trucks emptying several trips of laterite onto the plot.

She said, though she had heard that the developers intend relocating them to pave way for the project, they were yet to be formally approached with this request until the queen mother of Jonasi approached them with an insurance offer to sign which she declined based on the earlier information that they were going to be relocated.

According to her, this enraged the former who warned them that the project would go ahead whether or not they sign the insurance documents.



However, Solomon Danso who owned up as a member of the landlords of the site, dismissed the concerns of the residents when approached by GhanaWeb.

According to him, they have satisfied all safety requirements to set up the fuel station, insisting that they have not breached any regulations.

“There will be no dangers to their homes, we’ll fence [this place] and give them intervals and nothing will happen to them…we’ll give them insurance and if anything happens to them, they have insurance to cover them,” he assured.

He recalled that a filling station was once situated at the exact location which did not pose any dangers to the residents, arguing that the siting of the filling station would provide job opportunities for the residents of Jonasi and neighbouring Apegusu.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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