Spill Notification Point
Office National des Ports du Cameroon - (ONPC)
5 Boulevard Leclerc
Competent National Authority
Ministry of Forest & Environment.
Contact details unknown.
Responsibility for response to spills at a national level falls to the Ministry of Forest & Environment. In practice this is split between the Marine Marchande (Department of Merchant Shipping), for coastal waters, and the Office National des Ports du Cameroon -(ONPC) (Cameroon National Ports Authority) for port areas. Oil companies are responsible for spills at the oil installations overseen by ONPC. These organisations are supported by a Standing Committee for Emergencies at Sea (SCES), the membership of which is drawn from the additional ministries of Defence, Public Works and Transport, Mines, Water and Energy, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Animal Industries. Marine scientists from the University of Yaounde and representatives of the major municipalities also attend.
An environmental law enacted in 1996 has laid the basis for a formal response. However, the National Contingency Plan (Plan National d'Urgence) is still in draft form as prepared under an IMO contract. Individual oil installations also maintain local contingency plans covering two offshore oilfield terminals and a marine terminal at Limbe.
Dispersants are generally used by the oil companies. Little difficulties have been encountered with the extensive fishing industry, in this regard, since fishing is prohibited in the areas around the oil installations where dispersants have been used.
Any clean-up would involve defensive booming, particularly of the mangrove forests which densely cover the river estuaries, and manual clean-up of the predominantly sandy shoreline.
The port authority operates a number of tugs and launches and has limited boom and other equipment. Spill response equipment is also held by the oil industry. An agreement between offshore operators including ELF-SEREPCA, PECTEN & KELT and the refinery operators SONARA provides for cooperation for spill response operations. Several contractors offering diving and fabrication services and contract labour are based in Douala in support of the off-shore oil industry.
Commercial aircraft, both fixed wing and helicopters, are available for charter and there is a crop spraying company based in Douala which could provide aircraft for dispersant application.
Previous Spill Experience
There do not appear to have been any major spills in Cameroon waters.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
- Abidjan Convention (with states of the West and Central African Region).
Date of issue: December 2009