Residents protest erection of gas plant within estate over fear of explosion (PHOTOS)
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
Residents of Aerodrome GRA in Ibadan have protested the erection of a gas plant within the estate due to incidences of gas explosions in the country.
The residents under the umbrella of Aerodrome GRA Homeowners and Residents (AGRA) appealed to the Oyo State government, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to immediately revoke and stop the construction of the LPG gas plant in the area.
Press gathered that a gas plant is currently under construction in the estate but residents while protesting, insisted that citing the project in the area poses a lot of danger to both residents and other citizens.
AGRA Vice President, Professor Omolola Atalabi, while addressing journalists at the weekend, begged the state government to save residents from the imminent danger.
Atalabi who spoke on behalf of over one thousand residents of the area maintained that proper Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which is a part of the conditions for the establishment of a gas plant, was not carried out before the purported approval was granted.
Atalabi called for immediate revocation of the approval purportedly granted to the gas plant.
She added that the protest against the construction of the gas plant became necessary to avoid what happened at Abule Egba in Lagos State where about 23 people were killed and to avoid a similar occurrence where many lives were lost during a gas explosion in Kaduna State.
“We are shocked and dismayed that approval could have been given for such construction, considering the obvious health hazards and other environmental dangers of siting a gas plant in a gated community such as the Aerodrome GRA.
“In the wake of several gas explosions in various parts of the country, the point cannot be overemphasized that it is inappropriate to locate a gas plant in the precincts of Aerodrome GRA, as the emission of substances from the plant will be hazardous to residents, and the devastations of fire outbreaks cannot be ruled out. The scientific evidence for these occurrences is incontrovertible. Several examples abound.
“In March 2020, 23 people were killed and 50 residential buildings destroyed at Abule-Ado Area, Lagos state, as a result of an explosion at a gas station sited within the residential area. In July 2020, there was a gas explosion at the Kaduna LPG which claimed several lives and properties. In September 2020, another explosion in the Orile Area of Lagos led to the destruction of residential buildings, just to mention a few examples.
“In addition to the lessons from the unfortunate incidents listed above, which clearly illustrate the dangers of locating gas plants in residential communities, paragraph 2.3 (g) of the Guidelines for the approval of License for construction/installation, modification, relocation and operation of Liquified Petroleum Gas, 2018 issued by the Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR) provides that “the proposed site shall not constitute threats or hazards to the area”.
“We have every reason to believe that a proper Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which is a part of the condition precedent for the establishment of a gas plant, was not carried out 1 the purported approval was granted.
“We appeal to concerned authorities, including the Oyo State Government and DPR, to save us from the imminent danger to our lives posed by the construction of the gas plant.”
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