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Upper East, North East residents appeal for gas refiling stations

Residents of Upper East and North East regions have expressed dissatisfaction about the lack of gas refilling stations in the areas.

The people, including traders, market women and drivers said they were compelled to transport their cylinders to neighboring towns with gas refilling stations for a refill.

Speaking at separate engagements with officials of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) during LPG awareness and sensitization campaign, the residents said using their private or commercial vehicles to distant towns to refill their cylinders added to the cost of buying liquified petroleum gas (LPG).

They said the situation had forced some of them to abandon their cylinders and resort to charcoal and wood for cooking.

For instance, there is no gas refilling station at Sandema and surrounding communities, and so the people have to transport their cylinders to Bolgatanga, Navrongo or Paga for a refill.

The residents, therefore, appealed to the government to push for the siting of more gas refilling stations in the North East and Upper East regions to ensure availability and accessibility of LPG in the areas.

They also called on the government to reduce the prices of LPG to make it more affordable.

The NPA team from the Corporate Affairs Directorate and the Gas Directorate conducted the sensitization campaign through one-on-one engagements with traders, market women, drivers, durbars and radio interviews.

Areas visited in the Upper East Region so far included Bolgatanga, Navrongo, Paga, Sandema, and Fumbisi. It also had engagements at Walewale in the North East Region.

The LPG awareness and sensitization campaign being conducted in collaboration with Lyme Haus Solutions aims at creating awareness among consumers on the need to switch from firewood and charcoal to LPG usage.

Speaking at an LPG sensitization durbar in Bolgatanga on Thursday, the Consumer Services Manager of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Mrs Eunice Budu Nyarko, cautioned the people against keeping cylinders indoors while cooking and reminded them that cylinders are supposed to be replaced after 10 years.

She stressed the need for people to avoid placing empty or filled cylinders near naked fire or inflammable liquid.

Mrs. Nyarko asked the people to replace cylinder hoses every two years for domestic use and six months for commercial and ensure that valves are well fitted to avoid leakage and explosion.

She again asked the people to allow for about one hour for gas in filled cylinders to settle down before usage.

The Consumers Services Manager advised drivers to keep cylinders in vertical positions in the booths of vehicles to avoid explosions.

Taking his turn, the Upper East Regional Fire Officer, ADOI Akobanyan Bright, stressed the need for users of LPG to ensure adequate ventilation for cylinders, light the match before turning on the gas, keep regulators in off position when the cylinder is not in use.

For his part, the NPA Communications Manager, Mr Mohammed Abdul-Kudus, who welcomed the people on behalf of the NPA Chief Executive, Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, asked the people to observe gas-related safety tips to avoid explosions and resultant injuries and loss of lives.

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