Promoting Chemical Safety Management in Ports and along Transport Routes of Dangerous Goods: Case Studies from Africa

United Nations Environment Programme (2017)

UN Environment and the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) have collaborated since 2009 to build capacities in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) on implementing effective chemicals management approaches. As part of this partnership and within the context of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), UN Environment and ICCA implemented a project between 2013 and 2015, in collaboration with regional and national partners, entitled “Promoting Chemical Safety in the African Region”. According to priorities identified in the region, the project aimed to promote safe handling of hazardous chemicals and appropriate emergency preparedness and response practices in ports and along cross-border transport routes. The project was implemented in two main ports of Africa - as key entry points of imported chemicals to the region - and the cross-border transport routes to neighbouring land-locked countries. The two sites involved were the Port of Tema in Ghana and the transport routes serving Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger in West Africa; and the Port of Mombasa in Kenya and the transport routes serving Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Southern Sudan, Northern Tanzania, and Uganda in East Africa. Project activities included four capacity-building and training workshops on safe handling and transport of dangerous goods, a mapping of main stakeholders relevant to chemical safety practices in both sites, a mapping of hazards and hotspots in both ports and along cross-border transport routes, assessment of current emergency response plans, and two sub-regional events to disseminate project results and best practices. Activities were implemented in collaboration with the National Cleaner Production Centres of Ghana and Kenya and involved environmental, port and maritime authorities, as well as specific SMEs providing services on storage and transport of chemicals in the demonstration sites. UN Environment and ICCA also collaborated with the Government Chemist Laboratory Agency of Tanzania to host a last sub-regional dissemination workshop in Dar es Salaam, as a further contribution to share lessons learned in the region. Specific methodologies such as UN Environment Respon¬sible Production and the Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level (APELL), as well as ICCA Responsible Care Framework and Global Product Strategy (GPS), were used as the main methodologies for capacity building throughout the project. Outcomes of the project include a clear understanding of the chemical hazards present in the demonstration sites and transport routes and assessment of the current emergency response plans, enhanced capacities of national authorities and SMEs on handling and transport of dangerous goods, and promotion of regular improvements and stakeholder consultations on chemical safety and emergency preparedness in both ports. This publication compiles case studies of the project’s activities. It is complemented by a package of resource materials on improving chemical safety that were used in the context of the project. The publication aims at providing valuable insights and lessons learned that can be of use to other countries and regions when replicating capacity-building activities on chemical safety in port areas and transport practices. It also provides recommendations for potential future activities.

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