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Life threatening stench engulfs parts of Kumasi, stalls activities
From: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Ernest Dela Aglanu          Published On: December 6, 2012, 9:59 GMT
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Life threatening stench engulfs parts of Kumasi, stalls activities

Smoke is billowing from the site

Residents in some parts of Kumasi are complaining of a pungent smell which is making life in the suburbs unbearable.

The stench has engulfed several areas including Santasi, Brofoyedru, and Kwadaso, for the past five days and is currently making life unbearable for residents who have complained of vomiting, coughs and sleepless nights.

Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor, reported that the pungent smell is emanating from a weedicide storage facility at a chemical farm in Atwima-Boko owned by one Osei Gyasi.

Erastus Asare Donkor, who was at the scene, said “there is a thick cloud of chemical smoke billowing from the farm.”

A resident recounted that, “from last week it started. The way the thing is affecting us, it is very serious … you can’t even breathe, we’ve been covering our mouths [and noses] with handkerchiefs.”

Police personnel were seen at the scene and it is unclear, exactly what they were there do. The Mayor of Kumasi, Mr. Samuel Sarpong, is also expected visit the area to assess the situation.

Mrs Anima Wilson, Deputy Ashanti regional Minister told Luv FM’s Ohemeng Tawiah the incident was “rather unfortunate.”

She said it was particularly disturbing that political connotations were being assigned to the incident.

According to her, there were allegations that the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) released the strong smelling chemical to prevent residents of the second most populous city in the country and a strong hold of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), from voting, barely 24 before polls are due to open.

Mrs Anima Wilson advised residents to stay away from the area while stakeholders find a solution to the chemical leakage.

Angelina Mensah, Deputy Director of Public Relations at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), told the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Thursday that officers from her outfit had been to the site.

Their investigations, she said, show there was a spillage – of Organophosphate - from Kumark Company and “EPA Kumasi has involved NADMO, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other security agencies to try to contain the situation.”

She advised that because the chemical was not visible, it was safe for residents to stay far away from the site while the EPA tried to get them protective gears.

Any resident with symptoms of Organophosphate poisoning (eye irritation, vomiting, dizziness headaches), they should seek medical care immediately, she added.

She said affected persons could also call the Poison Centre on 030238626 or 0302243552.

The Deputy PRO of the EPA was hopeful that a greater part of the spillage will be contained by close of Thursday.

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