"Emphasis on strengthening the Port's Safety/Security System"
- Sir, three months after you took up your post, how do you assess the organisation of the Harbour Master's Office?
In such a short time as Harbour Master of the Port of Kribi, you will agree with me that it is premature to give an exhaustive assessment of the organisation of the Harbour Master's Office. Nevertheless, you should know that the Port Authority Kribi (PAK) is relatively young. In only three years of existence, important foundations have certainly been laid by my predecessor, but more efforts need to be made to improve organizational performance. Above all, it is a question of relying on a model that emphasizes the assessment of achievements, the identification of needs and the search for resources for capacity building.
- From high office as Harbour Master, what ambitions do you have for the PAK?
My ambitions are of various kinds. First and foremost, I must work to uphold high standards of safety and security. The objective being to make of the port of Kribi a regional and international destination of choice for the quality of services. Our ambition is to contribute to the loyalty of the already acquired clients and attract more investors; contribute to increasing maritime and port traffic, thus reinforcing the port's contribution to the national GDP; contribute as much as possible to the preservation of the environment and the marine ecosystem. Finally, we are working to set up competent teams to meet the desired performance.
- What are your priority projects?
As for our priorities, the emphasis is on strengthening the safety and security system, in terms of maritime traffic, law enforcement and project implementation. By way of illustration, with the port extension work in progress (phase II) and, for the safety of navigation and vessel traffic, a mini VTS (Vessel Traffic System) station has been installed to ensure that all measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) are scrupulously observed. All the actions initiated in the project to extend the southern protection breakwater will benefit as well from all the safety measures necessary for their proper implementation. With regard to the maintenance of law and order in general within the port, the installation of the forces of law and order (FMO) attached to the Port is ongoing and is expected to be completed shortly. It is important to mention that the recently approved security plan will be certified by an approved body.
- Regarding the Phase II worksite, the work will certainly affect the normal functioning of the port, with the movement of machinery and people. What management system is being put in place to preserve the safety and security of the port?
The PAK is in line with the ISPS Code (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code). Failure to comply with the ISPS Code could lead to serious sanctions. It is therefore mandatory for us to ensure that all maritime operations and the movement of goods, people and equipment are carried out in the utmost safety and security environment.
To date, all accesses are controlled and monitored by qualified teams. A special gate has been dedicated to this purpose (gate 8 in this case) to control access to the port. Moreover, for a better synchronization of actions, consultation meetings between the company in charge of the port extension works (CHEC) and the operational structures of the PAK are regularly organized. We also involve all the forces of law and order (FMO) attached to the PAK.
On the maritime front, a temporary channel buoy replacing a light on the south breakwater ensures the safety of navigation in the channel. Obviously, communication is maintained between the control tower and the CHEC company to be notified of any vessel movement before it is executed. In addition, various Urgent Notices to Mariners have been issued to inform all mariners of the changes made at the Port Authority of Kribi.
- What about with the acquisition of a new pilot boat for the port of Kribi?
The pilot boat project is under control and on track. Monitoring and quality control missions have been carried out by our teams with the manufacturer based in Spain. Each time, the goal was to ensure that during the consolidation phase of the structure, the construction would respect the compliance standards.
The PAK Top Management attaches great importance to the application of the contract that binds us to the builder, especially on aspects related to the quality of materials and the respect of the delivery deadlines. The next inspection mission will be aimed at validating the sea trials before we take delivery of the said equipment.
- How do the various safety units deployed on the Kribi platform cooperate?
Collaboration between the PAK and the security units is structured and promotes frank collaboration and constructive discussions that allow us to move forward by finding permanent solutions to problems requiring intervention. It is for this reason that the General Manager of the PAK has set up a security/safety sub-committee in the PAK, comprising of security units such as the BIR, the National Gendarmerie, the Navy and the Police among others. This sub-committee meets on a monthly basis and examines all security/safety issues that require concerted involvement within the port platform.
On the Maritime Level
- The BIR in charge of the Kribi Zone in its statutory missions is responsible for securing the territorial waters, namely twelve thousand nautical miles from the coasts (water body, basin, access channel and roadstead).
- The Navy (Kribi Naval Base), for its part, secures the areas beyond the territorial waters.
On the land level
- The National Gendarmerie (Port Company and Squadron74) and/or the Police (Special Port Police Station) are the first response forces in the event of offences.
- The PAK security units, which deal with access, surveillance and control of the movement of goods and people, are under the supervision of the Port Authority through the Harbour Master's Office, which is responsible for the security of the port area. It is therefore clear that, depending on the problems encountered, each security unit can be called upon to act in its own area of competence.
- How about the interactions between the PAK security units and those of the concessionaires?
Interactions between us are friendly and professional. All port facilities within our organisation must comply with the provisions of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS). This is why the concessionaire of the KCT (Kribi Container Terminal) has chosen to operate on our site with a security company of its choice, to ensure the surveillance and access control aspects of its gates. Patrols inside the KCT by our security agents are conducted in accordance with the rules and procedures of the KCT.