Freetown, 14th February 2022–The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) with support from the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA), over the weekend conducted a pilot risk assessment and hazard profiling of four fuel stations (Leonco – Congo Cross, Total – Bus Halt, NP – Siaka Stevens Street and Malador – Dwazark Junction) in Freetown. The risk assessment is designed to be rolled out across the country.
The assessment is geared towards identifying fuel stations that are constructed in unfavourable locations and posed threat to lives and properties within their operational surroundings. The exercise will also determine the level of compliance with respect to safety measures in place to adequately forestall any unforeseen circumstances that may emerge.
The team critically assessed the capacity of handling explosion and spillage, type of fire extinguisher in possession, the safety of staff, the status of storage tanks and dispensers, use of signages and the availability of tank ventilators.
The assessment was done using a specialized tool called ‘KOBO’, developed by the NDMA to collect accurate data, GPS coordinates, and sequentially categorize fuel stations deemed to be ‘most unfit’ to operate in the country.
At Total filling station, the Director of Risk Reduction and Preparedness, Thomas Lebbie said the assessment was done to ensure filling stations comply with safety guidelines and reduce the risk of disasters.
He continued that operational filling stations have a responsibility to put all these safety measures in place to effectively respond when there is an outbreak of fire.
“Fuel Station owners should be organizing refresher courses for their staff to increase their knowledge on fire management, fire prevention and evacuation”, Director Lebbie affirmed.
A comprehensive report, which would highlight filling stations that are constructed in locations considered to be ‘high risk’, and those that are operating way below the expected standards, will be done for the attention of the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA) and proffer recommendations for appropriate action.
The National Disaster Management Agency will continue its risk reduction drive and put modalities in place to ensure the occurrences of disasters are greatly minimized.
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Directorate of Communications
National Disaster Management Agency