The year 2017 is about to end. For some, it has been a time of bliss but not with some challenges. Others have been scarred by some unpleasant events which are so vivid they cannot easily be wished away. Nevertheless, when you begin the year and enter into another Christmas season, it is a time to rejoice because whatever the situation may be, you are still alive. Never take it for granted. It is only when a loved one dies that you realize what a miracle it is for you to live. If you are alive there is always a chance to write a new story. I am writing mine.
I like to have fun so I never miss an opportunity to try out new places in town especially when it has to do with food. The restaurants, eateries have been my best hangout places. But in my ecstatic moments, I have noticed a worrying trend and it started with my trip to Adenta. I couldn’t help but notice the KFC structure and a shell filling station that share a wall with Prudential Bank.
I thought that was the only one until I paid close attention and realized that it might be some form of an ‘unholy marriage’ between KFC and some of the filling stations on one hand and restaurants in general and other filling stations on another. At Dansoman, ‘Akukofoto’ is a giant KFC building sharing a compound with another fuel station. I am not against any form of business collaboration but I am against any collaboration that endangers the lives of citizens.
Here is where the problem lies. According to the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the minimum distance that gas/fuel stations should be sited from residential areas is 30.8metres or 100feet. In this case, it is not a place of residence but a restaurant. This restaurant also has giant cylinders filled with gas (or whichever fuel that is being used) to prepare meals. Should any of these two sources of fuel leak (and with our depressing history of leakages it is entirely possible for that to happen) we are looking at yet another disaster of unimaginable proportion given the proximity of the two businesses. It is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode into wildfire and reduce into ashes anything in its path including the innocent fun loving people like myself who just dropped by for a bite of KFC chips, chicken and coke. That scares the hell out of me!
After the atomic explosion, President Nana Akufo-Addo ordered the "immediate cessation until further notice, of all construction of facilities intended for use as a gas or petroleum retail station." This instruction is commendable provided it will be followed. However, the growth of restaurants sharing walls with filling stations is also an issue that has to be tackled head-on because they all pose great amounts of danger if not worse. KFC is not the only restaurant that is in proximity with filling stations but I have seen that combination one too many and if that can be nipped in the bud to prevent further danger, the better for us all.
It is important to state that I have nothing against KFC (in fact I am a big fan and lover of their Oreos) but I am also a citizen with responsibilities to do the right thing the best way I know how and I chose to write about it. I hope something is done and fast. This is for our own safety so that we can have fun without fear of another preventable explosion. I still love that chicken but I care about where it is located!
By : Naa Adzoa Adzeley Boi-Dsane.