Friday, June 7, 2019

SONARA: President Biya Sends Five Ministers To Limbe To Deliver Message To Locals Affected By Friday’s Fire Disaster

Cameroon’s Minister of Water and Energy Gaston Eloundou Essomba is at the head of an inter-ministerial delegation to the National Refining Company (SONARA) and its environs this Thursday, June 6, 2019 after devastating flames charred four out of its 13 production units last Friday, May 31, 2019.

Other members of the inter-ministerial delegation include: Trade Minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development Ernest GBWABOUBOU, Minister of the Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development Hele Pierre and Secretary of State to the Minister of Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie Yves Galax Landry Etoga.

The ministers said President Paul Biya asked them to reassure the workers of SONARA that the on-going rehabilitation, extension and modernisation project will continue hitch free in spite of the fire accident that ravaged the refinery’s distillation unit last Friday.

President Biya says there will be no lockdown of the refinery.

While assessing the damage caused by the fire on behalf of the Head of State, Minister Eloundou Essomba said the future of Cameroon’s lone oil refinery is even brighter.

Besides the SONARA workers, the mainly fishing population residing in Ngeme, Batoke, Mokundange, and West Coast among other coastal villages around the oil fields also held working sessions with the ministers given that their livelihoods will sure be affected by the environmental impact of the sad occurrence.

In the meantime, the ministers have dismissed speculations about an eventual hike in the prices of fuel and downstream petroleum products insisting that the prices remain unchanged.

The Head of State, President Paul Biya ordered the Government to visit the fire disaster site at the National Refining Company, SONARA in Limbe after fire ravaged four of 13 production units at the company.

Balungeli Confiance Ebune, Director of Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Office in a press release dated June 4, 2019 said some cabinet ministers had been instructed by President Biya to hold working sessions with the population of Limbe affected by the fire disaster

Government said preliminary findings show that a technical fault at the distillation unit of the company led to an explosion and ravaging fire that brought down four out of the facility’s 13 production units.

The fire incident that started sometime between 9:00pm and 10:00pm on Friday caused severe environmental pollution and panic that pushed the population to flee from their nearby homes.

The General Manager of SONARA, Jean-Paul Simo Njonou declared a force majeure Saturday, stating that the company had to indefinitely suspend her operations. But President Paul Biya has now announced brighter days for the company.