Environmental sustainability: GPHA starts waste segregation

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Social Waste Segregation
Social Waste Segregation
Spining

The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has started segregating its waste as part of measures to ensure environmental sustainability at Ghana’s seaports.

Mr. James Benjamin Gaisie, GPHA General Manager, Estate and Environment said the Authority had commenced the segregation of plastic and paper waste for recycling while wood waste is given out for re-use.

Mr. Gaisie stated during a forum organized in Tema, that, apart from it serving as an environmentally sound initiative, it also saved the GPHA some money through recycling.

He said the port management had recognised that port activities, being industrial in nature could posed risk to the environment; therefore, their resolve to initiate sustainable ports agenda, which he acknowledged would be successful with the collaboration of stakeholders.

Mr Gaisie added that waste reception facilities were available at Ghana’s ports to receive, handle, and dispose ship generated waste in an environmentally sound manner.

He said vessels that call at the ports were bounded by international protocols such as the MARPOL Convention Annex 6 which obliged vessels to use fuel with low sulphur content.

He explained that because of the convention vessels with high sulphur content in their fuels when calling at the ports would have to change fuels, adding that in Ghana, the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) had the mandate to ensure that all vessels comply.

Mr Andy Bright Berko, the Corporate Estate and Environment Manager, on his part announced that GPHA was also considering efficient alternatives for energy conservation.

Mr Berko said in addition to using energy-saving electronics, GPHA has begun using solar energy and was in the process of procuring wind turbines to use wind as an alternative source of power in the ports.

Meanwhile, the GPHA has engaged various stakeholders operating in the Tema port enclave to obtain their input for the development of a comprehensive environmental management plan.

The stakeholder engagement forms part of the review of the environmental performance of the ports in line with the requirement of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

To meet these requirements, the GPHA has contracted an environmental consultant, Coastal and Reclamation Engineering Services Limited (CARES Ghana), to audit its environmental performance and develop a comprehensive environmental management plan as well as an oil spillage contingency plan.

Mr Gaisie said a similar engagement has been carried out at the Port of Takoradi toward the same objective.

Mr Matthew Baker, a representative from CARES Ghana, during the stakeholder engagement said the meeting was crucial in the quest to help integrate the inputs of stakeholders into the draft document the company was working towards developing the Environmental Management Plan.

Mr Baker said the Environmental Management Plan would enable Ghana’s ports to operate sustainably.

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