‘Storage, sale of petrol in homes pose several risks’

06Apr 2020
The Guardian
‘Storage, sale of petrol in homes pose several risks’

RESIDENTS of Ulowa Ward in Ushetu district, Shinyanga region have complained  about   the risks of some  dealers to store and sell petrol in in residential houses.

Shinyanga Regional Police commander Deborah Magiligimba

Speaking to reporters at the weekend they said the dealers endanger their own lives and of those surrounding them due to the highly inflammable nature of the fuel.

One of the residents Mlekwa Kashindye said of late there has been rampant storage of   fuel in residential areas that endangers the lives of residents of the ward.

“We do not oppose the trading in fuel but what we fear are the consequences that may occur from     storage of petrol as many of those in the vicinity are often unaware of the inflammable fuel within their midst to take precautions,” Kashindye said.

Ulowa Ward Councilor Paschal Mayenga said apart from fuel trade posing danger to people’s lives, it is also conducted illegally as the dealers thereof do not pay due taxes to the Tanzania Revenue Authority and the district council.

“Years ago there was one man who stored petrol inside a guest house. Then two people broke in and started stealing the fuel using gallons while unknowingly a person who was smoking a cigarette approached and then suddenly there was an explosion that killed two people and the entire house was gutted down,” he said.

From these complaints TRA authorities in Kahama district made a follow up and were able to seize 13 drums of petrol in the house of one businessman, John Jaji whose house is surrounded by other residents.

The Kahama district commissioner Annamringi Macha said the Fire Brigade and Rescue Services, in conjunction with the police and Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) will conduct a special operation to apprehend who rampantly trade in fuel or  those storing it in residential areas as there are laid down procedures for selling fuel other than via petrol stations.

When approached for comment the Shinyanga Regional Police commander Deborah Magiligimba said currently they are already conducting a special operation to nab all those selling fuel illegally.

EWURA public relations officer Titus Kaguo said they dealers with fuel storage facilities and petrol stations are licensed but they also issue special permits to minor fuel selling centres, otherwise it is illegal for anyone to store or sell fuel in residential areas.