French navy visits Banjul

Thursday, October 05, 2017

French navy and technical experts in international marine services yesterday arrived in Banjul to assess Gambia Port Authority’s firefighting, oil spill response, and health and safety areas.

Lieutenant Colonel Cedric LE Bigot said their trip was supported by the French Embassy in Dakar, coordinated by the Bureau Varitas in Senegal, in consultation with Charbell N. Elhaji, a local consultant based in Banjul.

The team was received at the Banjul Ports by the GPA managing director, Abdoulie M Tambedou.

Speaking on arrival at the GPA’s conference hall, the GPA deputy managing director, Ousman M. Jobarteh, said the ports was honoured to receive the navy expert.

He said that the technical assistance programme would mark the beginning of a long fruitful relationship in the years ahead.

“We are a small port that strives on efficiency and any technical assistance that will improve the set-up of the port will be more than welcomed,” he said.

He said health, safety, firefighting and emergency response is a big challenge, not only for the port of Banjul, but other ports in many developing countries.

He said the port is faced with a lot of challenges in terms of the environment, health and safety marine pollution prevention.

“We believe the expert will stay in the country for the next three days or so to conduct assessment on the health, safety and fire rescue issues to help the board identify the gaps that are in the system and recommend remedial actions,” he said.

This, he said, would enable the port to count on having a safe and reliable port operation.

The consultant, Charbell N. Elhaji, said the expert will during his stay assess the GPA and some of its materials that maybe under depollution.

“We will also take the opportunity to visit The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services and the airport,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the expert, Lieutenant Colonel Cedric LE Bigot, said after the assessment of the ports he would be able to give an overview of his findings and recommendation.

Author: Abdoulie Nyockeh