The pipeline which transports fuel from the Takoradi Port to the Western Regional depot of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) in Takoradi is under siege by unscrupulous individuals in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis.
These individuals siphon the fuel by using saw blade to cut the pipe connecting the port and the TOR depot in Takoradi.
Daily Graphic investigations have revealed that these individuals operate from 12 midnight when almost everybody is asleep.
When the Daily Graphic got to the site where the siphoning takes place, it was seen that church buildings and other residential facilities had been built close to the pipeline.
In the same vicinity was a makeshift slaughter house where people set fire to prepare animals for their customers.
That means that should there be any leakage of fuel in the area close to the slaughter house, there could be an explosion.
One of the churches is just about a metre away from the pipeline, while people were seen resting on the pipeline.
When contacted, the Depot Officer, Mr Emmanuel Kwesi Aidoo, confirmed the story and said the depot received a consignment on January 8, 2007, adding that an arrangement was being made for military protection of the pipeline.
He said what the people failed to realise was that by their action they were exposing the whole community to imminent disaster should any explosion occur.
According to Mr Aidoo, it was wrong to have human activities within a certain distance of the pipeline, explaining that as a safety measure, the regulations insisted that structures should be located more than 30 metres away from the pipeline.
He said consequently arrangements were being made for all structures close to the pipeline to be demolished.
Mr Aidoo also took the opportunity to appeal to the general public to volunteer information on people who siphoned oil from the pipeline to TOR or the police.
But, according to Daily Graphic investigations, the affected landowners were also preparing to resist any attempt to demolish their structures.
A resident of New Takoradi said they paid tax to the Ghana Railway Company and the Takoradi Port and, therefore, “we do not see why our building should be marked for demolition”.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Assembly, Mr John Laste, said the structures which were within 30 metres of the TOR pipeline were unauthorised and the assembly would demolish them to avert any disaster.
Some residents have expressed concern over the activities of those unscrupulous people, particularly when such an act had caused considerable loss of lives and property in neighbouring Nigeria.
Story by Moses Aklorbortu & Juliet Aguair.