General News of Saturday, 2 April 2005
Tema, April 2, GNA - The Corporate Social Responsibility Movement (CSRM), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) at Tema has expressed concern about spillage from the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) into the Chemu Lagoon at Tema New Town and the danger it poses to the people. It said that apart from the damage to the environment there was the possibility of a fire disaster due to fish processing and smoking and domestic activities in the area.
The Executive Secretary of CSRM, Mr Richster Amarfio, raised these concerns at a news conference in Tema on the aftermath of the Tema Port fire outbreak and the status of the Chemu Lagoon. He alleged that the said leakage that led to the fire outbreak on Good Friday was not the first spillage from TOR and said that in June 1994 and late last year there were leakages from its pipelines, which was not only collected in buckets by some members of the public but also collected in the Lagoon.
According to him the setting up of the Committee to investigate the disaster would not have been necessary if TOR as a corporate entity had ensured the security of the pipelines.
He expressed regret that recommendations by the Tema Municipal Assembly, industries as well as the two Traditional Councils on the way forward for the Chemu Lagoon, no effort had been made to implement them. The Executive Secretary raised concerns on various issues including why there was no fire alarm in the Port area as well as the vessel that got burnt and expressed the hope that the Good Friday disaster would strengthen the conviction to change irresponsible corporate behaviour in the country.
The Youth Secretary of Tema Newtown, Mr Ishamael Mensah, appealed to authorities to ensure the lagoon's restoration and expressed the youth's preparedness to demonstrate against companies polluting the Lagoon if nothing was done about its restoration.