In light of the recent distressing incident in Embakasi, where a gas explosion led to the loss of lives and numerous injuries, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) extends its deepest sympathies to the affected families. The incident on 1st February 2024 highlights critical lapses in safety measures which must be addressed urgently.
Recognizing the detailed legal and regulatory structure that governs the petroleum industry, KEPSA underscores the necessity of strict adherence to these protocols, especially regarding the handling and storage of petroleum products like LPG. As Kenya progresses towards increased energy consumption, the importance of safeguarding the populace and the environment cannot be overstated.
KEPSA reaffirms its support for businesses that align with the Petroleum Act of 2019 and the EPRA Regulations of 2019 and calls upon new ventures to rigorously seek appropriate licensing for their operations to ensure public safety and environmental protection.
KEPSA has noted with concern that previous applications for licensing of the facility involved in the Embakasi explosion had been rightfully denied due to non-compliance with safety standards. Reports of unauthorized and hazardous operations underline a pressing need for oversight and enforcement of regulations to prevent such tragedies.
To further these efforts, KEPSA suggests the establishment of a specialized task force to audit compliance levels and investigate the root causes of non-compliance. This task force should also propose actionable strategies to elevate safety standards, boost public awareness of LPG risks, and implement effective channels for reporting non-compliance.
In essence, KEPSA calls upon the government to ensure that regulatory bodies are held to the highest standards of accountability and to take swift action against any breaches in the established safety and regulatory framework. It is only through collective diligence and strict adherence to regulations that such tragedies can be prevented in the future.