The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has engaged its key stakeholders on how to adjust their operations to create the needed synergy for the implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Conventions on Waste Management.
The Convention, MARPOL 73/78 – International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, requires States Parties to ensure the provision of adequate reception facilities in ports to handle operational and domestic waste discharge from vessels in an environmentally friendly manner.
The engagement was between officials of GPHA, the Ghana Maritime Authority, National Petroleum Authority, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and private waste management companies.
GPHA in its quest to carry out its mandate in collaboration with licensed private environmental waste management companies to provide efficient services to vessels calling at the ports organized the engagement to reach workable solutions due to bottlenecks emanating from the fragmented nature of institutions carrying out their sole responsibilities.
Mr James Benjamin Gaisie, General Manager, Estate and Environment at GPHA, speaking at the engagement, said the improved collaboration was geared at the ultimate goal of vessels being able to discharge waste at the port without delay.
Mr Gaisie said GPHA brought the stakeholders together to discuss openly and fashion out the way forward to run these facilities smoothly without any hitches.
He said the vessels wanted prompt services and no delays at the port.
Dr Harry Barnes-Dabban, Executive Coordinator for Ports Environmental Network Africa (PENAf), facilitating the forum, praised Ghana’s ports for staying in line with International Conventions and called for increased capacity building for sustainability.
Dr Barnes-Dabban said, “Ghana’s ports are already on course, the port took an initiative ahead of the state by implementing the convention; now the focus should be updating the skills and knowledge, and also, because it affects other stakeholders, the need to institutionalize stakeholder governance.”