The Principal Programmes Officer of Environmental Protection Agency, Kwadwo Opoku-Mensah, says Ghana is prepared to address any oil spillage should such an incidence occur in the country.
According to him, the responsible authorities have been set up with various measures put in place to ensure the incidence is curtailed when it happened.
Mr. Opoku-Mensah made the remarks in an interview with the media at stakeholder’s sensitization workshop on Oil Spill Contingency Plan in Takoradi.
The workshop was organized by Friends of the Nation (FoN) in collaboration with support from Center for Public Interest Law and Oxfam with support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.
Mr. Opoku-Mensah in an interview said the authority has designed a Coastal Sensitivity map to establish the sensitive assets along the coastal areas to ensure that the coastal areas are protected in the event of spillage
The map will also help the companies to be able to deflect the spillage when it occurs.
He said, EPA will continue to monitor the activities of the companies, their equipment, and training regimes to determine their preparedness to handle oil spillage should it occur.
This will help reduce the impact the spillage will have on the country when it occurs.
The EPA is using the preventive approach to stop the spillage from occurring, even though the country is ready to handle any occurrence of oil spillage. So, we have increased our monitoring, investigation and auditing of the oil companies to ensure that they are complying with environmental laws.
The Programmes Coordinator of Friends of the Nation, Solomon Kusi Ampofo on his part encouraged Ghanaians, especially those in the coastal areas to report any suspicion of oil spillage to appropriate quarters especially EPA.
He cautioned against false alarm and urged the public to support their report with video or picture evidence for prompt action.
Ghana started drilling oil in commercial quantities from December 15, 2010, but some have questioned how robust the country’s legal framework is to deal with any oil spillage.
The National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) has been in operation since 1986 and seen several revisions, with the latest revision done in December 2020.
The aim of the plan is to bring together the combined resources of the Nation, the oil, shipping and exploration industries, to provide a level of preparedness to the threat posed to the environment by oil and chemical spills.
Measures to be employed in the event of oil spill have also been identified in the plan in accordance on the circumstances of the spill and conditions prevailing.
Source: Ghananest.com/Matthew O. A. Dadzie