• Politics

    Sentuo Oil Refinery at Valco, Danger To Human Life - Moshake

    The Secretary to the Tema Sakumor shrine, Mr. Stephen Ashitey Adjei, has sent a direct appeal to President Nana Akufo-Addo and his government to cause an eviction and relocation of a refinery that was recently put up at Tema Manhean.

    In an interview, Mr. Ashitey Adjei, who is popularly called Moshake, said Manhean is supposed to be strictly a residential settlement for the indigenes of Tema and that the Sentuo oil refinery poses “a reckless danger” to life and property.

    “If there is an accident and the refinery explodes, Tema Manhean and all of its catchment areas including communities 4, 7 and 8, will be wiped off. I shudder at the carnage that whoever set up this refinery here is tempting fate to cause here,” Moshake wrote.

    Moshake is also the leader of over 4,000 ex-workers of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) who have been fighting for their benefits after they were retrenched in 2002 without any benefits.

    “I call on President Akufo-Addo, to as a matter of urgency get the Sentuo oil refinery relocated from this human settlement.”

    According to him, “if this is not done, I may lead a demonstration against the government and the refinery.”

    Moshake points out that already, government has long saddled the people of Tema Manhean with danger through the siting of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), which is also located in that area.Like the Sentuo oil refinery, if TOR explodes, Moshake’s statement said, Manhean and its catchments will be wiped off.

    “It is by the grace of God that we have not had that horrible accident and now someone too has come to add to the existing danger with this Sentuo refinery,” Moshake wrote.

    Explaining why TOR’s positioning is the result of the “mistakes of history,” he wrote that the planning of Tema had originally been modeled after the city of Milton Keynes in England by the Nkrumah government, which had brought in Sir William Halcrow as the consulting engineer, after acquiring the land in 1951.

    “As part of the plan to establish TOR, the indigenes who were fisherfolk were asked to relocate to Ashaiman which used to be our farmlands. But because commercial vehicles were not common at the time, the indigenes saw Ashaiman as being too distant from the sea and therefore refused to leave.”

    According to Moshake, this led to a modification of the relocation plan with the government paving Tema Manhean as the new settlement for the indigenes.

    “But as the experts have always noted, this does not eliminate the ever-looming danger of mass carnage in the event that TOR explodes.

     This is why the white rich and elites at the time, took residence at places like Community 2, Italian Flats, Communities 3, 6, 10, 11 and 12. And so, already, we have been living with the danger of mass annihilation because of TOR.”Moshake said.

    Worst still, Sentuo is located near the Volta Aluminium Company Limited (VALCO) which has huge smelters.

    “If it is true that Sentuo does not have environmental impact assessment certification, then that is actually criminal. 

    However, the point is that whether it has that certification or not, its location is recklessly dangerous,” Moshake wrote.

    “I am appealing to the President and his government to relocate the refinery to save lives.”

    He admitted that the refinery could be a good source of employment for the people, “but if the carnage that recently resulted from the Appiatse mining explosives accident serves as a reminder, then you know no amount of money is worth the risk – Tema Manhean is far denser than Appiatse,” he said.

    Moshake also reminded the government of the Tema Manhean gas explosion in 2010, which led to many serious injuries and deaths. 
    “Then president Mills came round to console us because the explosion happened near my family house, Kpowulunor Royal House, however, he could not bring back a single dead person.”

    Meanwhile, the Tema Sakumor shrine secretary expressed disappointment in the leadership of the workers Union of VALCO, which recently embarked on a demonstration for better salaries. 

    “They have the time and energy to lead demonstrations for better pay but do not think that the location of Sentuo Oil Refinery so close to VALCO is a danger that needs urgent rectification. 

    Money is good but can you enjoy it without life? I hope that these workers union leaders realize the danger that looms over their own lives because of this new refinery.”

    “There is a reason that even at TOR, the offices of the senior management are located very high on that their tower that looks like mountain Afadjato, the late Michael Jackson, a popular American musician was right when he said the world is sick, we should heal the world and make it a better place to live in. in fact, money isn’t everything, it only provides defense against the troubles that poverty may bring”. Moshake stated.

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