The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has stated its commitment to be environmentally sustainable in its operations.
GPHA is poised to launch its official green agenda in the coming months. However, the Authority has already begun to take initiatives geared towards protecting the environment for human, plant and aquatic life.
Speaking on Eye on Port, Estate and Environmental Managers at GPHA, revealed that one of such initiatives is a tree planting campaign which coincides with the national agenda, the green Ghana project.
Corporate Estate and Environment Manager, Andy Bright Berko said the tree planting is intended “to create a carbon sink in the port area” in order to absorb the carbon emissions that emanate from direct port operations and ancillary operations.
General Manager, Est, & Env., James Benjamin Gaisie
General Manager in charge of Estate and Environment at the Port Authority, James Benjamin Gaisie added that, with GPHA having missed last year’s tree planting campaign, the Authority was keen to ensure it participated significantly during this year’s campaign.
Chairman of CCO, Justice Eshun
Chairman of the Coastal Conservancy Organisation (CCO), Justice Eshun, whose NGO has partnered GPHA for the exercise said the exercise was planned to be executed in three phases which included preparation for planting, launch and actual planting, and lastly the tending, protection and long term management of the trees.
“We are currently on the third phase. We have put a wooden protective cover on all the trees that were planted to indicate to people those are areas they should not trespass. Another good thing is that, we are currently keeping a nursery where we can make replacements if some of the plants do not survive or are unhealthy.”
He also highlighted its coastal cleaning projects, another partnership with GPHA for the conservation of Ghana’s beaches.
Mr. Eshun said for 11 months CCO, with funding from GPHA, has been cleaning 10 different beaches that had been inundated with filth, with mostly non bio degradable objects like plastics, car tyres among others.
The managers in charge of Estate and Environment at GPHA also touched on the company’s initiative to embark on a reduction of waste generation as well as measures taken for waste segregation at the ports.
According to them, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has begun the separation of plastic and paper waste for recycling while giving out wooden waste for re-use.
They said not only has this been an environmentally sound initiative, but saved the Authority some money.
Corporate Est. & Env. Mgr, Andy Bright Berko
Corporate Estate and Environment Manager, Andy Bright Berko also disclosed that GPHA has begun to consider efficient alternatives for energy conservation.
He said in addition to using energy saving electronics, GPHA has begun to use solar energy and are in the process of procuring wind turbines to use wind as an alternative source of power in the port.
The General Manager, Estate & Environment at GPHA, James Benjamin Gaisie said “vessels that call our ports are bound by international protocols such as the MARPOL convention annex 6. It obliges vessels to use fuel with low sulphur content and so vessels who have high sulphur content in their fuels, when calling ports will have to change fuels. In Ghana, GMA is supposed to ensure that all vessels comply.”
Mr. Gaisie also said, at Ghana’s ports, waste reception facilities are available to receive, handle and dispose ship generated waste in an environmentally sound manner.
He said the Authority recognizes that port activities, being industrial in nature can pose risk to the environment and that is why GPHA has taken upon itself to initiate the sustainable ports agenda and this would be successful with the collaboration of stakeholders.