Port authorities have been urged to recruit qualified administrative and legal staff and competent inspectors to prevent importation and dumping of hazardous chemicals and wastes in the country.
This was revealed recently by Jean Claude, former Director of the Marine Environment Division of International Maritime Organization (IMO) at during a workshop on Capacity Building for control and Management of Hazardous chemicals and Wastes.
He said the port should have sufficiently qualified and experienced surveyors and inspectors, to carry out qualified investigation and prosecution and to manage hazardous chemicals and wastes within the country.
He said there was need for Tanzanian ports to know that as a port, before hazardous chemicals were allowed to enter the country, their treatment and disposal place of the wastes should be known.
“As a port you need to receive things or chemicals from overseas that you can handle. If you can’t handle them don’t receive them,” he noted.
He said many people in developing countries including Tanzania are at a high risk to various forms of contamination from hazardous wastes and such exposures often lead to chronic or acute disease. These interfere in their contribution to economic activities and thus increasing poverty levels.
He pointed out that special training and tools are needed to ensure the staffs do their job effectively and in a sustainable manner.
“Our focus was just to prevent hazardous chemicals and wastes from being dumped in the country as well as protect human health and the environment in areas where it is used,” he noted He said port authorities should have licensed service providers who will collect waste, noting that they should understand what procedures they have to follow to effectively carry out the work.
Elaborating he said port authorities must develop a wastes management plan in consultation with the relevant parties such as ministry of environment, relevant administrations and agencies as well as port users or their representatives and operators.
On monitoring, control, and follow up, port authorities should collect data on maritime traffic and ship-generated waste cargo residue as well as monitor and evaluate the performances of the waste operators.