La Gas Station Faces Closure

Ishmael Ashitey in a handshake with the MCD,Alhaji  Hanina Salam

Ishmael Ashitey in a handshake with the MCD,Alhaji  Hanina Salam

 

The La Dade Kotopon Municipal Coordinating Director, Alhaji Hanina Salam, has disclosed that the second gas station near the Ghana Trade Fair Site would be closed down as precautionary measure to avert disaster in future.

“The Municipal Security Council (MSC) is very worried about the safety of a number of persons living and transacting business near the facility. The La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly (LaDMA) is also very close to it and we do want to take any chances,” he remarked.

Alhaji Hanina Salam, who disclosed this during a visit by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Ishmael Ashitey on Wednesday, mentioned that the assembly was awaiting the final report on the incident, which took place last year.

On December 23, 2016, a gas explosion hit the La Trade Fair area, which resulted in the deaths of more than nine persons and injuries to several persons.

Eyewitnesses said the explosion occurred in the afternoon and the fire swept through the entire area.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, who earlier visited the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), on his part, called for collaboration between various institutions and organized groups, among others, to help address the myriad of challenges confronting the region.

“I entreat you to recognize that our richness, talents and capacities and resources, when harnessed, would improve our wellbeing,” he appealed.

The Minister, who described perennial flooding in Accra as one of the major challenges, called for proper waste management.

“There is no reason why our gutters should choke if city authorities effectively and efficiently manage waste,” he added.

He also charged the AMA to take steps to decongest the Central Business District (CBD) and be prudent in their spending.

 

Source: modernghana.com

 

FDA Denies Poisonous Drugs on the Market

Accra, March 9, GNA – The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) on Thursday said, there was no poisonous drugs on the Ghanaian market as being speculated in the media.

‘The FDA wishes to inform the general public especially the media that the information is false and should be ignored’.

A statement issued and signed by the Acting Chief Executive, Mrs Delese A. A. Darko and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the European Union (EU) has not ranked Ghana as the sixth for fake drug producer in 2013 by the EU as being speculated in the media.

‘The FDA wishes to assure the public that adequate regulatory measures are in place in line with international best practices to ensure public health and safety and these measures are regularly reviewed to ascertain and improve their continued effectiveness’, it said.

The statement assured the public that the FDA’s laboratory was an ISO 17025 accredited and had the largest scope of accreditation in the whole of Africa.

It added that the FDA has a safety monitoring system for drugs (pharmacovigilance) which had been highly rated in sub-Saharan Africa and was part of a consortium designated as a Regional Centre of Regulatory Excellence (RCORE) in Pharmacovigilance by NEPAD and the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization.

The FDA is also designated (by the same international bodies) as a RCORE in Medicine Evaluation and Registration.

‘With the stringent regulatory measures put by FDA, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has on several occasions recommended several countries on the continent to understudy Ghana FDA’s regulatory systems’.

The FDA said it has come to its notice that there were some media publications describing Ghana as being ranked sixth by the UU for having poisonous medicines on its market following seizures of fake medicines on the borders by EU customs in relation to suspected violations of Intellectual Property Rights.

The said publication is not only full of factual inaccuracies but also misleading and dangerous in that it seeks to create unnecessary panic and erosion of confidence in the ability of the local pharmaceutical industry to produce quality, safe and efficacious medicines; as well as the ability of the FDA to protect public health and safety by way of ensuring the availability of quality, safe and efficacious medicines in the market.

The seizures involved assorted products including luxury goods such as watches, sunglasses and clothing. Ghana’s bit was on detention of large shipments of batteries not fake medicines as alleged in the publication (Ref:http://sips.gov.ua/i_upload/file/twinning-presentations/en/14_2013_ipr_statistics_en.pdf).

 

Source: modernghana.com

Fire razes 12 fuel tankers at Ashaiman

 

Twelve out of fourteen tanker trucks belonging to a private business yet to be identified have been destroyed by fire at a tanker yard at Ashaiman.

The tanker trucks were all full with petroleum products meant for distribution to some fuel stations on Monday.

According to the Deputy Chief fire officer in charge of operations with the Ghana National fire Service, William Gyasi Mensah, the fire service received distress call at 13:05 sunday afternoon regarding a fire outbreak at the yard.

He said “upon receiving the call, we quickly rushed to the scene where we realised it was a tanker yard which had some tanker trucks filled with products in them. We managed to put of the fire which lasted for almost four hours”

He said in all thirteen fire tenders and 35 fire personnel were used in bringing the situation under control.

According to Mr Mensah, preliminary investigation reveals that the cause of fire might be due to the illegal transfer of products.

“We are still investigating to know the actual cause of the fire but we can not rule out transfer of products because the pumps that were used for such acts are all visible here,”he noted.

He refuted claims that there had been some casualties as a result of the incident, saying  ” from the time we arrived up till now, there have been no casualty whatsoever let alone any death that has been recorded. There is no such incident here and the public must not believe those announcements as they are all not true”

 

Source: modernghana.com

What’s The Leading Cause Of Wildfires In The U.S.? Humans

By:

More than 10 wildfires burned over 200,000 acres in Southern California in October 2003, many of them started by humans. This satellite image shows strong winds carrying smoke over the Pacific.

MODIS Rapid Response Team/NASA

 

Wildfires can start when lightning strikes or when someone fails to put out a campfire. New research shows that people start a lot more fires than lightning does — so much so that people are drastically altering wildfire in America.

Fire ecologist Melissa Forder says about 60 percent of fires in national parks are caused by humans: “intentionally set fires, buildings burning and spreading into the forest, smoking, equipment malfunctions and campfires.”

But the average for all forests is even higher. The latest research shows that nationwide, humans cause more than 8 in 10 — 84 percent.

“We are playing a really substantial role in shifting fire around,” says fire ecologist Jennifer Balch at the University of Colorado. Balch looked at the big picture, going through records of 1.5 million wildfires over a 21-year period. She says people are starting fires where and when nature normally doesn’t — at times when forests are often too wet to burn easily or at places and times when lightning isn’t common.

As a result, Balch says, not only are people causing the vast majority of wildfires, they’re also extending the normal fire season around the country by three months.

Wildfires burned in the hills of Santa Clarita, Calif., threatening suburban development in October 2007. This fire was among more than a dozen major wildfires, many of which were started from human-related ignitions.

Jeff Turner/Wikimedia

“I think acknowledging that fact is really important,” she says, “particularly right now when we have evidence that climate is changing, and climate is warming, and that fires are increasing in size and the fire season is increasing.”

You can see evidence of that along Skyline Drive in Virginia. The view offers an Appalachian panorama — rolling mountains carpeted in deep oak and pine forests. But it’s not all green, as Forder points out from the side of the highway at Two-Mile Run Overlook at Shenandoah National Park. Right below stands a grove of blackened trees; a few patches of green needles on surviving pines are the only green.

“We can see where it started,” she says. “That’s Rocky Mount right there.” The mountain is the namesake for the Rocky Mount fire, which burned more than 10,000 acres last year.

The park’s fire manager, Jeff Koenig, ran the firefighting teams that spent almost two weeks stopping it.

“We were probably 10-plus days without rain” before the fire, he says, “so you know it was expected. It was that time of year when you can expect fire activity.”

It was April, and spring and fall are when forests in the east usually burn, explains Forder, who also is with the National Park Service. “To have a fire,” she says, “you need the fuel, which is available each spring and fall with the leaf litter, which is constantly here, and the ignition source, and then weather conditions that would allow the fire to burn.”

That ignition source at Rocky Mount is thought to have been people. There was no lightning at the time; lightning fires happen more during summer storms.

Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Balch says there is a solution: Ironically, it means starting more fires.

Prescribed fires are intentionally lit — they burn off leaf litter and underbrush that would otherwise fuel bigger wildfires. Controlled fires also help germinate the seeds of many tree species. But people don’t like them nearby; they’re smoky and sometime get loose. “Now the question is, can we live with the amount of prescribed fires that we need in ecosystems?” she says. “Can we live with the smoke that comes off those fires?”

The research, she says, suggests that the alternative is a year-round season of bigger, more damaging fires.

 

Source: npr.org

Rainstorm injures 11 students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A storm amidst a heavy downpour has severely injured 11 students during an athletics competition held at Akim Asene Methodist School Park in the Eastern Region.

The students who were running from the rains to take cover in the classrooms were crashed by flying roofing sheets and had serious injuries to their backs, waist, arms and legs.

They were rushed to the Jubilee Hospital at Akim Oda where seven were treated and discharged whilst four who were in critical condition were admitted.The four are however responding to treatment.

The competition which drew students from 12 schools at Asene and Manso for a three-day activity has since been cancelled.

Mr Daniel Kwaku Gyasi, the Assemblyman for Asene Ewisa East Electoral Area, told the Ghana News Agency that the incident occurred when the rain started around 1600 hours on Thursday.

Mr Kwame Aboagye, the Member of Parliament for Asene-Akroso-Manso, later visited the scene with the chief of the town and the officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation of Birim Central Municipality.

Mr Aboagye pledged to pay the hospital bills of the victims.

It was suggested that the classroom blocks with the ripped roofs should be demolished to avoid any unexpected tragedy.

Some houses in the area were also affected by the rainstorm.

 

Source: ghanabusinessnews.com

Flood alert: AMA names 14 safe grounds for Accra residents

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has announced safe havens in flood prone areas in Accra to ensure minimal effects of floods if they occur this year.

The Assembly in a statement copied to citifmonline.com identified fourteen (14) low lying areas within its precincts prone to flooding and matched open parks as safe havens for shelter.

The statement said, the safe havens could serve as temporary shelter for victims of flood.

Below is a list of flood prone areas and safe havens where the public in the identified communities are expected to seek shelter in case of any eventuality with respect to flooding or any other disaster that may accompany it.

The Public Relations Officer of the AMA, Nuumo Blafo in an interview with Citi News said, said the assembly was also disilting major drains within the city to avoid devastating effects of the floods.

“What the AMA is also doing is desilting of the major drains and we are advising people within the communities to desilt the minor drains around them,” he said.

He also cautioned the public against dumping solid waste into drains at the onset of the rains.

The alert comes after a report by Citi News‘ Kojo Agyemang that noted a looming danger of major floods in Accra due to activities of garbage collectors who dump waste into the Odaw River, a major drainage in Accra that discharges into the Gulf of Guinea.

Ghana’s capital, Accra has in the last decade suffered series of flooding resulting in the loss of lives and properties. The worst of such events recorded in recent history with on June 3, 2015.

 

Source: modernghana.com

Swift Intervention By Fire Service Prevents Fire Disaster At Kumasi Central Market

Fire Service Personnel at the Market

 

Swift intervention by the Fire Service has prevented what could have been yet another fire disaster at the Kumasi Central Market.

Fire personnel managed to quench the fire after, at least, four shops had been destroyed in suspected arson attempt early Tuesday.

A plastic fuel container a box of matches as well as used  matches were found at the scene of the  botched destructive mission.

Ashanti Regional Fire Commander Semekor Fiadzo who visited the market as part of investigations is surprised someone could harbor the intention of setting the market ablaze.

“I am surprised at this. Why would someone plan to burn the entire market? Why would someone decide to put tears on the face of our market women? Mr. Semekor quizzed.

Whilst a complaint has been lodged at the Police Criminal Investigations Department, the Fire Service will continue to patrol the market.

“Our investigation pointed or is narrow down to a suspected arson. Arson because we found traces of matches that the person tried to use and then, you could see that he used petrol and we were able to find the lid just close to the where the spent or burnt matches were,” Mr. Fiadzo explained.

It has been an annual ritual for the Kumasi Central Market to record series of fire incidents over the past ten years, with the market recording four outbreaks in a single year.

But thanks to the ingenuity of the current Regional Fire Commander, a fire engine and a special taskforce have been put on alert at the market to curb any fire occurrence. This paid-off on Tuesday dawn when the taskforce responded swiftly to an alleged arson attacks.

This intervention has received wild applause from traders at the Kumasi Central Market.

Mr. Fiadzo says his outfit will continue to put markets in especially the Kumasi metropolis against further fires.

 

Source: modernghana.com

Pampered Time Bomb: Chemicals From Chinese Factory Threaten Lives And The Environment ….As Fear Grips Dunkonah Residents

By: William Nana Yaw Beeko

 

Residents of Dunkonah, a suburb of Accra, around the West Hills Mall have cited a Chinese Company Sunda International under its subsidiary – Housemart Company Limited – also producers of Kleesoft washing powder, in causing harm to the environment and endangering lives with their production activities.

The inhabitants believe the productions, which have mainly involved the use of some raw and dangerous chemicals at the factory site, have become a matter of grave concern.

They are particularly worried about the use of Caustic Soda which contains sodium in high volumes that could harm humans and the environment.

This, they identified, when not tackled by authorities was likely to explode in their faces in the next couple of months or so.

Already, residents are not able to withstand the unbearable noise emanating from the construction site in the middle of the community during the day and throughout the night.

They have argued that looking at the nature of the factory, it should not be sitting within a residential area like the West Hills and its surrounding areas.

The group led by opinion leaders and other real estate developers, have hinted that they would petition the President Nana Akufo-Addo and Environment Minister, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng to, as a matter of urgency, stop these chinese and their operations.

According to the residents, the Dunkonah area was earmarked for residential purposes and not an industrial or factory zone.

“We understand that Ghana needs investors to invest and create jobs but it doesn’t mean anywhere at all, factories should be cited there. We have industrial areas all over, so why should they come here. this is purely a residential area for domestic purposes,” one topnotch anonymous resident remonstrated.

However, sleuth checks by ModernGhana indicated that the authorised agencies Ga South Municipal Assembly, Environmental Protection Agency, among others under the former government, pampered this time bomb to the extent that they did nothing to stop the Chinese even after several calls and protests.

The residents blamed particularly, the Ga South Municipal Assembly for the low level of diligence on the project since the assembly irresponsibly issued permits to the Chinese investors during a so-called rezoning exercise.

Dunkonah is described variously by the Real Estate industry as “The Future of Accra” the pride of the West and as one of the fastest developing and well planned residential communities at the heart of the capital.

History has it that the entire area was acquired and set aside by SSNIT which invested it into serviced plots strictly for residential habitation in the mid 90s.

Some Real Estate developers, who have already invested huge sums of money, into purely residential developments in the area are alarmed that the area is gradually losing its originally mandated residential plan and purpose with people disinterested in servicing lands.

On the needed action that has to be taken, the residents admonished Ga South Municipal Assembly, who issued building permits to the Chinese to, as a matter of urgency, stop the project.

They said SSNIT, EPA Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) and the government should also be concerned about this clear and present danger.

 

Source: modernghana.com

How to implement preventive measures to avoid disasters

 

Society over the years has ignored the heart-breaking effects of countless preventable disasters that had taken precious lives that perhaps had dreams of contributing to the wellbeing of their families and the country.

It was common knowledge that their demise caused their families trauma.

Ghanaians over a decade now have clothed themselves in attitude of much talk than acting on their discourse. We promise a lot of doing this and that to prevent a certain predicament to make life better yet follow the opposite.

Yaw Osafo Maafo

Disasters around the country over the years have seen hundreds of valued lives lost with promises of “we would do this and that to prevent it next time,” nevertheless, we go to sleep, dream and forget about it the next day.

The June 3, 2015 disaster would forever remain indelible in the minds of Ghanaians, especially those who have lost loved ones and properties.

With a night that started with heavy rain, which was a sign of blessing to Ghanaians and an answer to nurture seeds sowed on farmlands, it was least expected to end up as it did while innocent lives moves to and fro about their duties.

Per a rain that lasted many hours and deep into the night, many passengers who ply the local Trotro and apiece the circumstances could not afford a taxi, found shelter under a Goil filling station, at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, for at least until the rain ceases, so they can journey back home or to work.

However, their hopes and ambitions could not survive as the rain turned into floods mixed with storms that triggered a lit used cigar that fired the leaked fuel on top of the floods.

Witnesses said there were hopeless wailings and groaning and a fruitless attempt by victims for survival. But they died excruciatingly!

More than 150 lives were lost, with others injured including five houses together and the Goil Filling Station. The cost of the damaged was valued at GHȼ1,658,847.00.

Relief items worth thousands of cedis were donated by government and good Samaritan individuals to appease the trauma and property lost to the floods.

A five-member committee was established to investigate the cause of the disaster and make appropriate recommendations.

The investigation disclosed that a lit cigarette from one Seth Kwesi Ofosi ignited the fire.

The leakage from the fuel filling station and floods at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle were found to be the remote causes of the disaster.

The committee recommended among others a comprehensive dredging of the Odaw drain, as well as a ban on the use of plastics as carrier bags, a standardised training, certification and licensing of filling station attendants.

It also suggested the creation of sanitation police, compulsory fitting of all commercial vehicles with refuse baskets or bins and equipping of disaster managers with the requisite tools to effectively handle disasters.

Nonetheless almost two years after these recommendations, the authorities are yet to implement its promises of “we would do it”! Plastics as carrier bags still chocks our tax-paid constructed gutters and producers of it are still very much in business.

The only step taken by the then Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive Boss, Alfred Okoe Vanderpuye, was to demolish the Sodom and Gomorrah slum believed to have contributed to the filth that choked major gutter around the disaster venue.

On December 22 last year, a gas explosion at the Louis Gas Station, behind the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre in La-Accra, caused more than nine deaths together with 42 injured.

An investigation, according to reports indicated that the inferno was triggered by ‘irresponsible human error’ of the operators of the gas tanker.

 

Source: thechronicle.com.gh

‘No risk’ in Benin after truck with chemical for nuclear production crashes

French nuclear group Areva said truck carrying a chemical used in the uranium fuel process had tipped over in Benin, but there was

French nuclear group Areva said truck carrying a chemical used in the uranium fuel process had tipped over in Benin, but there was “no risk” of contamination. By ERIC PIERMONT (AFP/File)

 

Paris (AFP) – The French nuclear group Areva said Tuesday a truck carrying a chemical used in the uranium fuel process had tipped over in Benin, but there was “no risk” of contamination.

The accident occurred in the West African country on Sunday near Dassa, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of the capital Cotonou.

The truck was carrying uranate, an oxide used in the process to make nuclear fuel. The chemical has “very low radioactivity”, a spokeswoman for Areva told AFP.

A security cordon was set up at the site, and “it was quickly determined that there was no radioactive or chemical threat from the accident, the container stayed attached to the trailer without spilling the cargo”, she said.

The truck was set upright on Tuesday morning and was evacuated from the site in the afternoon, and nobody was injured.

“There is no risk for the population or the environment,” the spokeswoman said.

 

Source: modernghana.com