Fishermen are advised to keep appropriate records to assist with disaster compensation

The deputy director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urged fishermen to start keeping proper records to ensure they do not miss out on the right to compensation and insurance in the event of danger or damage.

Mr. Larry Kotoe said that elsewhere in the world, fishermen pay taxes, so have good affections in the administration, but the same is not practiced in Ghana which calls for internal accounting mechanisms by the different groups of fishermen to help with compensation or insurance in the event of an oil spill. along the country’s beaches.

Mr Kotoe said: “Let’s start preparing in advance as these international agencies pay damage or destruction claims on the basis of records.”

The EPA official was speaking during a stakeholder engagement on the national oil spill emergency plan to solicit citizens’ opinions on the revised national plan.

Currently, heat sinks have been used to control these spills with their negative environmental impact.

A National Oil Spill Contingency Plan has also been formulated to provide the framework for the coordination of an integrated response by government agencies and relevant stakeholders to protect the environment from the effects of pollution. due to the spill of petroleum substances.

Fishermen have also complained about the restriction of their activities around offshore oil and gas installations, which is having an impact on their fish landings.

It is in this context that Friends of the Nation and Oxfam, with the support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), engaged the Environmental Protection Agency and other stakeholders. to revise the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) in order to identify gaps and make recommendations for better.

This would help put the country in a better position to maximize the benefits of the oil sector, as significant efforts have been made to ensure good governance, including transparent and efficient management of oil revenues.

Mr. Solomon Ampofo, Natural Resources Coordinator with Friends of the Nation, welcomed the enactment of the 2011 Oil Revenue Management Law (Law 815), as amended by Law 893, 2015; Petroleum Commission Act 2011 (Law 821) and Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, 2016, 919 as well as local content and participation regulations.

He said these efforts have been hailed as signs of a country working hard to avoid the oil curse, the experience of many oil-producing countries in Africa, where oil and gas resources have led to conflict, corruption. and poverty.

Mr Ampofo added that the potential danger of damage and destruction of the environment continues to be a topical issue that requires global attention.

The risk of tension, he said, was increasing and there was the need to institutionalize subnational and national platforms to discuss modalities for improving governance in the sector.

So far, the total revenue accruing to the state at the end of December 2020 is US $ 6.55 billion as an oil fund.

Mr Ampofo added: “This is necessary, as soon as possible; best but even more important is the need to mobilize, equip and learn from oil communities.

Mr. Francis Agibere, an Oxfam staff member stressed the need for the country to learn from best practices elsewhere to improve the sector.

The revised plan examines the change in risk profile, funding to implement the plan, education, training and capacity building of stakeholders, and coastal sensitivity mapping, among others.

Participants stressed the need for the government to engage more in the plan and its implementation, more education on the plan for fishermen and all those in the Marine value chain.

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