The Wenchi Municipal Security Council in the Brong Ahafo Region at an emergency meeting on Wednesday, ordered owners of a fuel station under construction at Nkonsia, a farming community in the municipality to halt work for intense safety checks to be conducted on the facility.
The owners have therefore been given a two week to provide all necessary documents covering the approval and execution of the project in the community which is near completion, despite several protests by residents over safety concerns due to its location.
The fuel station is being built close to residential facilities, and at the base of the T-Junction linking the Techiman-Wenchi Highway, and therefore poses a threat to life and property in the community.
It is unclear what might have instigated the latest move by the Municipal Security Committee, but residents in the past weeks have demonstrated their frustrations about the development, and called on the President to intervene to prevent another 3rd June disaster in the town and its surrounding communities.
The residents said it was dangerous for authorities to allow a fuel station to be sited in a residential area, and called on the Municipal Assembly, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to act fast to prevent any calamity.
Citi News can confirm that the danger posed by the fuel station in the event of an explosion, will not only be limited to residents of Nkonsia alone, but scores of commuters and passengers who patronize that stretch of the road daily.
Speaking to Citi News, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Dr. Prince Kwakye Afriyie, confirmed the order and explained the safety concerns of persons living close to the site and the need to protect them.
“This came up during my familiarization tour of the district after my confirmation as MCE, and so when I got to Nkonsia, this issue came up. So we called for an emergency Security Council meeting to address the issue. Anybody who knows the area knows it’s an accident prone area. Actually, it was a family that was living there, but because it had several cars crashing into the house, the people evacuated the family from the place and left the plot as a buffer zone. My brother, when you take a look at the Techiman-Wenchi-Wa Highway and on reaching that point in Nkonsia, it’s a slope from Techiman and another slope from Sunyani forming a T-Junction thereby causing numerous crashes”, he explained.
He therefore issued a stern warning to the developer and construction workers to vacate the area until further notice.
“We are a listening government, we listen to what the people want and this is a genuine concern even to the developer to protect his investment. So it is in his interest that we bring finality to this impasse which has been going on for decades. We therefore, directed that he produces his building permit, NPA permit and EPA documentations for us to examine. Residents should therefore be rest assured that we will bring finality to this matter and their rights protected. We will not sit unconcerned for another calamity to happen in Wenchi”, he emphasized.
On his development initiative to boost development of the Municipality, Dr. Kwakye Afriyie said his vision is to reposition Wenchi as a Service Town by tapping and developing the areas tourism, agricultural, health and cultural potentials for socio-economic development.
Owners of the facility were not readily available for comment at the time of filling the report.