The West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCO) has
advised fishermen to help protect its pipelines by report any leakages or abnormal activities around them to the company or the security agencies.
Commander Ignatius B. Minyila (RTD), a Supervisor at the Marine Security Section of WAPCO, gave the advice at a sensitization programme on safeguarding human and pipeline security, for fishermen at Sekondi.
He said the company was ready to distribute gas through the pipelines and needed their cooperation to protect both human lives and the lines.
The fishermen were educated on the dangers posed by specific fishing practices and their effect on human lives and the pipelines.
Commander Minyila said they should not fish at within at least one mile of the restricted area of the gas pipeline and never dump waste or use explosives near them.
Mr. Charles Korle-Morgan, the Health, Environment and Safety Specialist of WAPCO, said some of the greatest challenges to safe pipeline operation were the accidental damages caused by excavation, construction, farming activities, and fishing methods.
He said anyone who detects a leakage on a pipeline must leave the leak area immediately to avoid inhaling hazardous fumes.
“Do not light a match, start an engine, use a cell phone, switch on or off light switches nor do anything that may create a spark,” Mr. Korle-Morgan stressed.
He explained that from a safe location, however, you should call your local emergency response number or the pipeline company, “giving your name, phone number, a description of the leak and its location”.
Mr. Korle-Morgan also urged the fishermen to report any situation or activity which may expose the pipeline to risk.
He explained that natural gas contributes to a cleaner environment and reduces dependence on foreign oil imports, therefore, the project must be protected as a national asset.
Mr. Kwasi Prempeh, the Community Relations Representative for WAPCO said, the company had undertaken various social projects in the communities in which it operated.
He mentioned a six-classroom block at Abuesi, a three-classroom block for kindergarten at Shama, a three-classroom block at Inchaban, a drainage system at Aboazde, which was rehabilitated and a six-classroom block at Dwomah, among others.
He urged the beneficiary communities to take good care of the facilities.