The Acute Shortage of Gas

INTRODUCTION:
Gas has become an essential requirement in many homes across the country. It is no longer the preserve of domestic users but commercial drivers are switching from the use of petrol and diesel to Gas as their main source of energy at an alarming rate. This phenomenon and other factors has led to an acute shortage of Gas, but what do the people have to say about this happenning!



KWAME SUNKWA (PAINTER)
The shortage of Gas on the market has caught us by surprise and I am elated to know that President Mills has set up a cabinet sub-committee to find a lasting solution to this problem. Given the critical role gas is playing in the lives of the people of this country, it is necessary that all measures are put on board to tackle this problem.
I am reliably informed that although the Energy Ministry can afford huge amounts of the gas into the system, the current reservoir at Tema is not able to contain all and that is what has caused the shortage. Why haven’t we known all along that this would happen and therefore the need to build more reservoirs across the country to feed the need of the consumers? If we had done that we would not have found ourselves in this situation. The bakeries across the country have also contributed to this shortage because of the amounts of gas they use in their work.”



ALEX OWIREDU (SUPPLIER)
I find it very difficult to understand why expatriate companies come into the country and create all sorts of problems for the people in this country. The Korean companies which have come to do business in this country are the ones which has made the problem of gas shortage worse. The machinery they use in producing their products are huge and consume a lot of energy and as a result of that, they have resorted to the use of gas as their main source of energy. The monies they make do not stay in this country as all of it is shipped outside the country. All the factories and industries especially the foreign ones which are using gas as a source of energy must be stopped immediately. They should not be allowed to make their monies at our expense.”



JENNIFER ADDO (TEACHER)
The change in lifestyle is a contributing factor to the problems which confront people in this country. Of course it is important that in order for us to reduce our use of charcoal as our source of energy in cooking and doing other things which would also minimize the rate at which our forests are being depleted, people are encouraged to adopt other sources of energy. However the rush with which this is happening is what has caused the shortage of gas and we must be clear about this. I do not use gas and I would advocate nor encourage anyone to use it because the accidents which gas have created is just numerous and something needs to be done about it. Gas has destroyed properties running into millions of Ghana cedis and many have even lost their lives. The recent one at Ashaiman is still fresh on our minds. We have used charcoal for a very long time in this part of our world so why must economic activities come to a halt because the many sources of energy have dried out.”



SOLOMON HAGGAR (AIR CON. REPAIRER)
Our failure as a nation to regulate the use of gas is what has brought us here pointing accusing fingers. Didn’t we know that as we allowed the vehicles to convert from petrol to gas demand would soar and therefore shortage was most like to follow? We often sit back and allow things to degenerate so that time and effort and huge sums of monies are used in rectifying the situation whilst we could have done so with little effort without pressure if we had foresight. If this was how Kwame Nkrumah had managed this country, I do not think we would have had the Akosombo Dam and the Tema harbour.”



ISAAC KWESI (VULGANIZER)
The good thing about gas is that it has given us an alternative to petrol, charcoal and kerosene. If for one reason or the other there should be a short supply of petrol, gas would serve as an alternative and it can easily replace charcoal and kerosene. I would therefore want to encourage the government to encourage other people who have the means to go into the import and sale of gas to the public so that some of the pressure is offloaded.”



EMMANUEL OBRI (TAXI DRIVER)
Some of the cars have huge consumption rates and because of that when you use petrol, you make losses as a taxi driver. If you buy GHC 7 worth of petrol and you pick a passenger to Accra for a fare of GHC 5 you would have lost GHC 2 because of the traffic jams. The cars which the white men have manufactured for us to use are fuel injectors and they consume more. You might have purchased that car for private use but later it is converted to public transport or commercial purposes and when that happens, you would certainly be chocked by the high amounts of petrol you would need to use for your work. That is what has compelled many of us to convert our vehicles from petrol to gas. Huge amounts of gas are generated and burnt at the Korle lagoon where the fecal matter from our homes are treated in a reservoir so why aren’t we taking steps to harness that gas for use?
Sometime in the year 2000, the then out-going regime of Rawlings began the construction of an underground tunnel at Kwabenya to preserve and treat all the refuse from Accra for the production of fertilizer and gas and I was part of the labour force which did that construction. I want The Insight Newspaper to go and find out why that project was left untouched after the NDC was voted out of power because huge amount of monies went into that project and I know it as a fact.”



AMA GYIMAH (PLANTAIN SELLER)
Rather than insulting our political leaders and discussing where they sleep and what they eat, we must be encouraging them to plan our country so that the suffering would be minimized. Not long ago gas was in abundance and it could be found in every corner but as the consumption of the product increased no steps at all were taken to increase the capacity. There are many pressing problems facing this country and whoever is in power would be compelled to find solutions to them. The insults must stop now! Let’s have exceptional love for our country.”



DANIEL OWUSU (TAXI DRIVER)
In the interim what I suggest should be done is that when the gas arrives in the country and there is shortage of storage tanks for the preservation of the gas, a company like Mamba Gas which has fleets of gas tankers is put on stand-by so that they are filled for onward distribution to the various stations as steps are being put in place to have more storage tanks. We do not need to necessarily offload the gas into a storage tank before distributing them. We have told that the gas would be brought to this station (Awudome) by 5pm so we are waiting to see what happens.”

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