Port safety

HomePort safety

A port is located at the interface of maritime, air and land transport, and is therefore subject to a high concentration of risks (including handling or storage of chemical products, fire or explosion risks, etc.), whether for private or public emergency services. In addition to the traditional measures applied during an emergency operation (intervention/protection), and after an emergency (repairs/lessons learned), it is essential to establish mechanisms to rapidly detect accidents, and to facilitate a coordinated, proportionate and rapid response.

Port facilities are, thus, highly sensitive sites which require a perfect mastery over the risks and threats which may present themselves. Furthermore, the human, economic and environmental costs of a crisis in a port facility are potentially catastrophic, and authorities therefore need to pay particular attention to preparing crisis management in ports.  

The European Union project WeCAPS (West and Central Africa Port Security), implemented by Expertise France, aims to strengthen local partners’ capacities to identify and limit port vulnerabilities.   

In addition to its activities focused on safety and port governance, the WeCAPS project team also seeks to support port authorities in the area of security.  Specifically, the WeCAPS project has identified the need to support partner ports and associated State services in West and Central Africa to foresee, prevent and manage crises. The WeCAPs project always seeks to propose solutions adapted to its partners’ particular needs. 

The WeCAPS project strengthens the capacity of the emergency services in the ports of West and Central Africa by:

  • Preparing and planning operational measures
  • Analysing the external protections against fire hazards, that is to say the permanent infrastructure which could supply water in case of a fire, such as fire hydrants
  • Drawing and updating maps and surveying data (Geographic Information System, municipality maps, etc) which would be necessary in case of an emergency
  • Establishing an inventory of vulnerable locations, to inform urgent decisions in case of a crisis, and which take into account not only the risks identified on the site, but also those in nearby locations, and the expected difficulties that might be encountered by emergency services. 

The project will further develop and provide training missions: 

  • Focusing on tactical subjects, such as rescue, fire-fighting, as well as nuclear, radiological and biochemical threats, as well as combatting pollution, and
  • Strategic training, covering crisis management for key actors and policy-makers.