The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority are using strict security measures to close all avenues that are used by people who want to use the country’s sea ports to stowaway to Western countries. Ghana’s Tema port is facing serious problems with stowaway incidents, with ‘one or two’ persons caught engaging in it this year.
Mr Stevens Siaka-Anane, Deputy Harbour Master in-charge of operations, revealed this matter during the Second Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport-Ghana Continuous Professional Development Programme at Tema.
Mr Sianka-Anane informed that stowaways hid in containers as these are rarely scanned and implied that officials of Abidjan port in Cote d’Ivoire always blamed Ghana of letting people to stowaway as, according to them, whenever they arrested such persons they turn out to be Ghanaians, according to Ghana’s News Agency (GNA).
Yet, he pointed out that the accusation was been worked on to verify if people began their stowaway journeys from Ghana or joined by the sea implying that having the image of a stowaway prone area would not help the country.
As a result, the Deputy Harbour Master suggested measures to limit the practice including identification and restriction of those going onboard of vessels, such as stevedores or people of any other business. Others, had restricted access control, monitoring of stevedoring, gangway manning, waterside patrols, and empty container visits as well as the use of trained dogs for rummaging and prosecution of persons who tried stowaways.
Mr Samuel Etsibah, Vice President of CILT, reported that the programme was published on time to Ghana’s comprehensive maritime policy framework, National Integrated Maritime Strategy, to make sure of the development and protection of its marine resources and users of its territorial waters.
He then continued by saying that though Ghana’s borders could be described as well secured, it is of a serious need to maintain and improve the borders, since according to him piracy, illegal fishing, human trafficking, narcotics, and international trade, among others was a concern to CILT.
Finally, he stated that the government should keep on boosting security on the country’s territorial waters by investing in state-of-the-art maritime technology and the provision of surveillance equipment for the agencies whose responsibility was to secure the maritime borders.