GNPC takes steps to protect Saltpond Oil Fields decommissioning area

The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is in the Central Region to court the support of interest groups in curbing an imminent danger as a result of fishing activities around the Saltpond Oil Fields decommissioning area.

Some fishermen are defying safety precautions and directives from the Navy and the GNPC to stay away from fishing in the 500 metres Exclusive Zone in the project area.

These incursions are causing interference in the execution of the project.

The Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Division of GNPC has been engaging chief fishermen, political heads and opinion leaders in the area to curb the danger of fishing activities around the project.

Deputy Manager, Social Performance and Local Content, Ms. Patience Lartey, in the engagements, has been reiterating the importance of respecting the exclusive zone directives by all fishermen.

“Machines are working in the area and it is unsafe for the fishermen numbering about 10 in a canoe to ply under the machines,” she said. “Should any metal fall off into the canoe the boat is likely to capsize and the people likely to perish.”

Ms Lartey also noted that the gas component of the oil explored may have long-term effects on the health of the fishermen who invade the area.

“From time to time the operations may require the opening of the oil coverings. The oil has its gas component called hydrocarbons which escape when coverings are opened.

“So when you invade the area and you inhale this gas you don’t know what the long-term effects will be,” she observed.

The MCE for Mfantseman, Ike Lord Ennu, says the local assembly is equally not happy about the development and is committed to helping to end it.