The Ghana Port and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have stepped up collaborative efforts aimed at instituting measures that will help make the port environment safer for effective and efficient operations.
To this end, Executive Director of the EPA, Dr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu has paid a familiarization visit to the Management of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to strengthen the bond of cooperation and collaboration towards ensuring the attainment of ideal levels of environmental safety in the port environment.
This visit formed part of a three-day industrial tour of some selected plants and industries within the Tema industrial enclave and its environs.
The EPA Boss revealed that service provision at the EPA is undergoing reforms including the drastic reduction in turnaround time in the issuance of permits and licenses.
“From 25 days you can now do 5 days. We are going full automation, we have hired some more hands and instituted training programs for our staff to uplift their skills level,” he disclosed.
Dr. Kokofu recounted the terrible events that occurred in the Beirut Port in 2020, and urged the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and its stakeholders to continue to ensure that Ghana does not become a victim of such a catastrophe.
“Key on my agenda has to do with the handling of hazardous cargo like explosives. Judging from international occurrences, most recent being what happened in Lebanon,” he said.
Representing the Director General of GPHA, the General Manager in charge of Special Duties at the Authority, George Bredu assured of continuous collaboration with the EPA.
“As state agencies, I believe we can do more than we are doing. If we collaborate we can keep the environment here in a very sustainable manner for the good of the country.”
The General Manager in Charge of Estate and Environment at GPHA, James Benjamin Gaisie on his part, assured of the Port Authority’s strict adherence to environmental regulations as well as compelling tenants who operate within the port to also comply.
He also revealed that GPHA is in the process of installing air quality monitors at vantage points to augment the Port Authority’s capacity to manage air pollution in Ghana ports.
“We have to put about 7 stations in the port,” Mr. Gaisie disclosed.
The Executive Director of the EPA recognized GPHA’s role in managing the environmental activities of stakeholders within the port and assured that his outfit will continue to fully support GPHA in that regard.