A new trend by some Shell petrol stations in various parts of Nairobi has turned these service stations into a disaster waiting to happen.

The development of premises that are now eateries has created one major problem, inadequate parking space resulting in congestion at the fuel pumps as well as the access points into these stations.

A case in point is the Shell petrol station on Lang'ata road that is opposite the Weston hotel - when congested the tailback gets to Lang'ata road blocking the smooth flow of traffic while at the same time creating a risk of an accident occurring.

What would happen there if fire breaks out? The access roads are blocked, the service bay is no longer existent, and the most convenient escape route towards Wilson Airport is now a parking lot rendering the escape route useless.

Vivo Energy’s desire for passive income should not be at the expense of the safety of its staff and clients.

A decade or so ago a fire broke out at the Kobil petrol station at Langata shopping centre opposite Uchumi supermarket, I am not sure whether there were fatalities but some of the vehicles that were refilling were burnt leaving the as mere shells.

Do we have to have a disaster for the ERC to take action? In February a report from ERC found that 30% of the licenced petrol stations in Kenya were in were in breach of the safety quality standards in regards to the prescribed construction standards.

The ERC should act now and close all these petrol stations and if need be get a court order that allows for the closure of these entities and they should only issue licences once each entity complies with the set out rules.  (Solomon Ndungu Mbugua)

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