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Oil spill contingency planning is the process of developing an appropriate spill response capability with guidance on the planning process for oil spills in or on water following an accidental release of oil into the marine or aquatic environment, whether during processing, transportation, production or storage of oil products.

Somalia is at risk of serious marine pollution, especially from oil spills, which is, however, an international problem, and the solution lies in the enforcement of international regulations by countries like Somalia.

The first part of the Maritime Criminal Justice Chain Exercise (MACRILEX) 2 organized by the Ministry of Ports and Maritime Transport (MPMT) took place on 15 and 16 February, with an oil spill preparedness workshop. The exercise was attended by senior directors such as Dr. Mahad Mohamed Hassan, Deputy Minister of MPMT who led the event with the appropriate support of the Director of National Maritime Coordination and Blue Economy (Office of the President), representatives of Somalia Maritime Administration, MPMT, Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Division Somali Maritime Police, Department of Coast Guard, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ministry of Human Rights and Women’s Development (WIMS project representatives), Attorney General’s Office and Ministry of Internal Security (Department of Maritime Security).

The event focused on the MV Wakashio oil spill (summer 2020) as a benchmark.

The current draft of the Ministry of Ports and Maritime Transport’s Oil Spill Plan was presented to the audience by the MPMT’s Director of the Marine Environment Department, with advisors from the Spill Association of Great Britain and Ireland, EMSA, IOC, IMO, Nairobi Convention Secretariat, IOPC Secretariat, UNSOM , UNEP and EUCAP were used to have a very fruitful and lively discussion on the needs and details needed to improve Somalia’s emergency planning from the perspective of each of the agencies present. Particular comments were made regarding Somalia’s accession to various international treaties relevant to the issue and existing compensation schemes. Possible criminal consequences and the necessary protection of seafarer’s rights in such cases were also discussed.

Recommendations agreed upon by Somali stakeholders included, among others, the establishment of a Working Group on Oil Spill Planning, including member states of the Federation. Participants should share all documentation and presentations to develop a comprehensive and effective contingency plan to prevent and better respond to potential oil spills in Somalia.

EUCAP will continue to work with the relevant Somali authorities and partners to help the Ministry of Ports and Maritime Transport (MPMT) improve its existing oil spill contingency plan for an efficient and effective oil spill response in line with international regulatory standards.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the EU Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia).

This press release was published by APO. The African Business editorial team does not control the content, and the content has not been reviewed or endorsed by our editorial teams, proofreaders or fact-checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this message.

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