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03.10.2005 General News

GPHA solves trans-boundary oil spill problems - Ameyaw-Akumfi

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Accra, Oct. 3, GNA - Trans-boundary oil spill problems have been partly solved by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority through the building of a waste oil receptacle, Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister of Ports, Harbours and Railways said on Monday. He said the oil receptacle to be replicated in all the 16 countries of the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME) project had the capacity to recycle the spilled oil for other use. Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi was addressing about 40 participants attending the Final meeting of the regional Trans-Boundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) working group task team in Accra.

He said the Ministry and its agencies were continually confronted with trans-boundary issues, which they had to deal with on daily basis. These include pollution problems from sea-based, and to some extent, land-based issues.

The group, made up of experts of marine issues of varied dimensions from the 16-member states of the GCLME, stretching from Guinea Bissau to Angola, is expected to, within five days review and up-date the TDA documents as well as finalize the development of indicators, among other assignments.

Prof. Ameywa-Akumfi expressed satisfaction with the extent of work of the group on the TDA document, saying, "it forms the basis for the identification of the root causes and impacts of environmental resources management problems mostly at the regional level and the socio-economic, political and institutional context within which they occur." He urged the group to liaise with the Ghana Maritime Authority, which played the supervisory and monitoring roles as far as maritime environmental issues were concerned in Ghana.

Prof. Chidi Ibe, Regional Director, GCLME, urged Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi to facilitate the construction of a trans-national rail line that would ease the cumbersome air travel time within the sub-region.

Prof. Alfred Oteng Yeboah, who chaired the function, urged the participants to educate the citizens of their respective countries on all their findings to help reduce the impact of environmental pollution. "If people are aware of the dangers associated with pollution, their attitude towards the environment might change," he said, adding that scientists needed to work hard at getting their people to understand the consequences of their actions and inactions on the environment.

He called for a regional contingency plan for oil spillage.

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