Tema Port Security and Emergency Services have expressed readiness to deal with any threat of terror attack on Ghana’s largest port following a successful counter terrorism simulation exercise dubbed ‘Exercise Harbour Shield’ within the Tema Port enclave.
The simulation exercise initiated by the security department of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority had partners from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Army and Navy, Ghana National Fire Service and Ghana Health Service. The rest are the Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Maritime Authority, Bureau of National Investigation and National Security among others.
The Human Resource Manager of Tema Port, Samuel Adjar said the exercise is in compliance with International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code to test and enhance coordination procedures and response to likely security threats to Port facilities which is conducted every 18 months.
“The Security Gurus in the port have met and looked at all and we have assessed all the shortfalls in the system and work together to improve and make the port a secure place. The port accommodates human beings, vessels and infrastructure hence it is important to mitigate all potential threats to them,” he explained.
The Port Security Manager (PSM), Colonel Joseph Malik Punamane said the periodic exercise is meant to test the operational readiness of security agencies and emergency service providers within the port in defusing possible terrorist threats on the Tema Port area and its environs.
“There are a lot of possibilities, and the scenarios in the simulation exercise are the possible things that could happen to us. For instance, bomb explosion is a possibility, so if it happens, what are the contingency arrangements to overcome the situation and minimize casualty? That is all the exercise is about,” he disclosed.
He also said there should be effective training of personnel on voice communication and the use of Motorola phones as well as activeness of emergency alarms in the port community.
Colonel Joseph Malik Punamane implored all port users to be abreast with basic security tips at the port and the ISPS code so as to report any suspicious happenings or movements.
“I want to use this medium to advise all port users to comply with security regulations because it is for their safety as well as everyone else’s. For example, speed limits should be observed, and helmets and reflectors should be worn” the PSM admonished.
Some participants shared their thoughts at the end of the events.