Mayhem looms if situation is left unchecked.
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Fuel-laden tankers continue to threaten safety in Lusaka’s Industrial Area, Zambian Breweries has warned.
The trucks surrounded the company’s brewery in Mungwi Road earlier this week in what has become a regular re-occurring problem despite on-going dialogue with the authorities to find a solution.
The trucks – often parked two-abreast along both sides of the road – endanger the innocent, lives and property of road users, the general public, companies located in the industrial area and Zambian Breweries employees, and threaten the safety of the plant, the company has warned.
Some fuel trucks have been in the area for more than two weeks, with lack of ablution blocks for drivers adding an additional health risk as drivers set up makeshift camps, lighting cooking fires near the flammable fuel and using the roadside as a toilet.
Zambian Breweries Country Director Jose Moran expressed concern over the matter as some trucks parked less than five metres away from the company’s boundary wall.
“We are appealing to relevant stakeholders to intervene as the fleet is too close to our premises and if the situation prolongs, we will have to consider suspending operations in order to ensure the safety of our employees, as we have done before,” he said.
“The trucks are also clogging traffic, posing a threat to pedestrians, public service vehicles and all those using Mungwi and Buyantanshi Roads,” he added.
This week’s chaos is a repeat of similar situations that have occurred periodically in the last three years, during which time the company appealed to Government and relevant stakeholders for a lasting solution addressing the unsafe parking of fuel trucks in the area.
Zambian Breweries Corporate Affairs Director Ezekiel Sekele confirmed that an engagement process was on-going to address the issue between the company and stakeholders including Lusaka City Council, the Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Zambia Police and the area Member of Parliament, Ms. Elizabeth Phiri, MP.
According to The Petroleum Act chapter 435 of the Laws of Zambia, dangerous petroleum should be stored in a secure building large enough to ensure a clear space of 1,524 metres in width around the shed or sheds. A clear space of at least 91 meters in width must be left between storage sheds on the same plot.