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Ghana is ready to handle oil spills - EPA

Nov. 1, 2016, 12:54 p.m.

Ghana is ready to handle any oil spillage should such an incidence happen.
This is the assertion by authorities of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to the agency, various governmental bodies have been set up with measures put in place to ensure any such occurrence is immediately taken care of.

With Ghana now an oil producing country, concerns have been raised as to how the country will handle such an occurrence without it affecting its economic and environmental activities.

But the Deputy Director at the Environmental Protection Agency, John Pwameng tells Citi Business News he is confident Ghana can handle any form of oil spillage should it occur.

“We are very confident because when you look at all the companies who are operating in Ghana, they all have their emergency response plans. They have got the minimum equipment that is required; the dispersant that are required for response and they have the arrangement in place so they have also done rehearsals. Many of the companies have rehearsed with the communities along the beach on what they have to do if there is a spill. So everything is sorted,” he said.

Mr Pwabeng further said the EPA has also inaugurated a 20 member board called the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) working groups to roll out measures to handle oil spillage in the country.

“Coordination is key. We try to improve on the coordination to give different tasks to different groups of people. They are also to improve upon the effectiveness of management for when something occurs because time will be of essence if anything occurs.” he stated.

Ghana in 1986, through the assistance of International Maritime Organization (IMO), developed the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) after an initial risk assessment.

At the time, government set out certain specific goals so as to have a certain level of preparedness for management of oil spills.

Also, the EPA, through the collaborative effort of its stakeholders has been able to achieve these goals set out in the NOSCP.

It has also developed on dispersant use, guidelines on the importation of dispersants, guidelines on management of oily waste and the environmental sensitivity atlas of the coastal area of Ghana.