Residents of Atwima Boko in the Ashanti region are demanding the immediate relocation of an agro-chemical warehouse which is said to be polluting the environment there.
Led by the queen-mother, residents say they fear they may suffer serious health problems because of the pollution.
Poor storage of bottled pesticides and insecticide in the warehouse resulted in a spillage last December, spreading a pungent smell to some parts of Kumasi.
Nearly two months after the incident, residents are demanding mass medical test for all people who are exposed to the toxic gas.
LUV FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor who visited the area reports that even though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supervised the safe disposal of the spilled chemical, the warehouse is still being used.
Akuamoah Boateng, headmaster of a primary school near the warehouse complained of the diffusion of bad smell in the afternoons, causing the school children to cough, which he feared might affect their health in future.
A resident of the area also complained of skin reaction. Others talked about severe catarrh and headache, and appealed to government to relocate the warehouse as soon as possible.
Felicia Amponsah, a retired teacher said: “The scent is so repugnant that we can’t contain, I suggest it should be taken to a faraway place where no human beings are living. We want the government to bring doctors to screen us to find out what is really wrong with us.”
Dr Gordon Donnir of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital said the spilled chemical is toxic which could alter the brain to cause headache and confusion, and can also lead to coma.
Meanwhile, the EPA said it has instituted guidelines for the operation of the warehouse.
The regional director of EPA Isaac Osei said the issue has been referred to the legal department of EPA, and the owner of the company has been requested to regularize his documents to ensure that the packaging is done appropriately.