By Thembo Kahungu
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has tasked the government to review the location of fuel stations and other potential explosive dangers like gas facilities planted in residential areas in order to avoid tragic events in future.
Kadaga says the Tuesday double explosion in the Lebanese Capital, Beirut should be an eye opener to the government so that residential areas are made safe from potential danger.
“This is an eye opener to us all. I urge the Prime Minister to direct the institutions responsible for safety majorly factories and institutions which have explosives and volatile substances to take precautionary measures to ensure we don’t suffer such calamity,” the speaker said.
On Tuesday, a huge explosion ripped through the port area of Beirut killing at least 100 people and injuring over 4,000 others as the whole city was shaken.
The Lebanese government announced that the blast was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate which was unsafely being stored in a warehouse. Ammonium nitrate is used as a fertiliser in agriculture and as an explosive.
Worried with the number of fuel stations and potential explosive deposits that are located in the Central Business District of Kampala and other residential areas in towns around the country, Kadaga who ordered a moment of silence to pay tribute to those who perished in Beirut, asked government to step up its game in regulating the establishment of such facilities.
A December 2018 survey by the Daily Monitor on at least 10 roads found that the fuel stations were established in less than 500 meters of each other’s something that paused danger to the surrounding communities in case of an accident that leads to an inferno.
The roads sampled then include Entebbe Road, Kampala Road, Namirembe Road, Jinja Road, Ggaba Road, Salaama Road, part of Hoima Road, part of Bombo Road and part of Masaka Road from Kibuye roundabout to Busega market.