Int’l expert help sought in oil spill contingency plan- CDC head clarifies

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DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Guyana Civil Defence Commission (CDC) has sought international expertise in the drafting of its contingency plan in the unlikely event of an oil spill, Director Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig has said.

Director of CDC Lt. Col Kester Craig.

Craig was speaking on Monday, at the opening session of a three-day “Incident Command Systems and Oil Spill Response Training”, at the CDC headquarters in Thomas Lands.

He was also responding to reports in the Kaieteur News which suggested that the CDC did not seek the expertise of international specialists when it drafted its response protocols.

“At this juncture, it is important to note that Guyana’s National Oil Spill Contingency Plan has been developed in draft locally, drawing on material available regionally and internationally, and in keeping with the International Maritime Organisation Guidelines,” the Director said.

According to the CDC Head, Guyana’s local capacity in this regard, in no way denies the involvement of international experts.

“The First Draft of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan benefited from expert support and guidance through the United States Department of State-Led Energy Governance and Capacity Initiative (EGCI) and the United States Coast Guard. It was also reviewed by the International Maritime Organisation.”

Craig said a second review is currently ongoing. He said public consultations will soon commence, after which, the plan can be further amended.

The proposal will then be reviewed, tested and adjusted before it is presented to Cabinet for final approval and adoption.

Meanwhile, Craig reported that an oil spill response course will be held between Thursday and Saturday of this week.  The training seeks to expose participants to the theory of oil spill response; and the practical components of responding to spills.

“The skill sets, and best practices attained during these training sessions are likely to increase the knowledge of the members of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan Committee to further develop the National Contingency Plan,” Craig explained, noting that there will be a strengthening of the response capacity and preparedness of all agencies and ministries involved.


By: Alexis Rodney