Friday, 6 January 2017

Misuse of firecrackers during festive occasions

The year 2016 became history three days ago giving way to 2017.

It has become a ritual for people from all walks of life to join Watch Night services to bid farewell to the old year and usher in the New Year.

This yearly ritual, see most churches filled to capacity with what has been termed cross over, pass over, jump over, leap over where worshippers praising and asking for God's guidance, protection and good health in the New Year.

An activity that has characterised the 31st December watch service and other public gathering is the fireworks displayed.

As the years roll on, firecrackers better known in Ghana as knockouts of all shades and sizes have been imported into the country for fireworks.

The sound from the firecrackers is so loud that one can mistaken it for a bomb blast.

This can threaten peoples health especially BP Patients and cause fire outbreaks.

The present situation of loud sound from firecrackers tend to take the beauty away from the display of fireworks, which brightened the sky with the colours which is a delight to watch.

Although some categories of firecrackers have been banned, most people continue to flout the law to import them. once they are imported, there will be people who will use them.

One question on the lips of many is whether the law enforcement agencies monitoring to arrest the importers? Since these products are already in the country, the challenge has to do with putting safety measures in place to save lives and property.

The Ghana National Fire Service In a precautionary note, directed churches and those willing to organize fireworks as part of the new year festivities to inform its personnel to use their expertise to prevent any fire out break.

The service warned that when the firecrackers result in fire outbreaks those responsible will be charged with arson.

It is not known how many organisers informed the Ghana National Fire Service before embarking on the fireworks especially in the capital city of Accra.

The area around the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation was not spared the loud sound from the firecrackers. 
It reminded workers on duty of the days of coup d'etat s.

One is wondering whether this unscrupulous use of firecrackers particularly those banned under the law, should be allowed to continue near public installations and security zones like the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.

This is because some unpatriotic people can take advantage of the situation to cause trouble or damage vital installations.

Judging from this, it will be prudent if security is beefed up at sensitive public institutions and installations to prevent any unfortunate situation.

It is sad that those entrusted with the responsibility of preventing these banned items appear not to be living up to expectation.

The annual public announcement through the media that those items are banned is not enough.

Ghanaians want action from the security agencies where they will monitor and seize the banned firecrackers at the various points of entry into the country.

This will ensure that such banned items do not find their way into the wrong hands who may not adhere to safety regulations.

Every Ghanaian has a responsibility first and foremost for his or her security and should avoid the banned fire crackers.

There should be unannounced visit by the agencies responsible for these banned items to arrest those selling them especially in festive seasons. Let us support the security agencies to arrest the culprit to face the necessary punishment.

This will help stop the smuggling of these items into the country.

Let us not allow the uncontrolled use of banned firecrackers to mar the beauty of firework displays and the joy of festive occasions.

By Ernest Obeng-Anim,Journalist

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