Sierra Leone

Spill Notification Point

Sierra Leone Ports Authority
PM Box 386

Tel: +232-22 50652 or +232-22 50345

Competent National Authority

Department of Transport & Communication
Sierra Leone Maritime Administration

Tel: +232-22 221 211


Response Arrangements

A working group has been established by the Department of Transport & Communication to develop a National Contingency Plan. The working group consists of two committees, one to develop a Freetown Contingency Plan and one to develop a Nitti Contingency Plan, covering the region south of the Freetown Peninsula. The overall Committee is under the chairmanship of the Petroleum Unit and consists of members from government bodies and the oil industry. The draft plan states three levels of response based upon the tier system. Tier 1 spills include those in the vicinity of terminals and will be the responsibility of the terminal operator. Tier 2 spills are those deemed too large for the sole response of the operator and will be initiated by national authorities. Tier 3 spills will involve a higher level of national response and potentially require foreign assistance.

The Harbourmaster has been designated the overall commander of a spill clean-up operation with a command centre established at the Harbour Division of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority. The commander of the Naval Wing of the Military Forces will be the On-Scene Commander. The Senior Assistant Secretary of the Department of Transport & Communication has the responsibility to mobilise resources and liaise with outside agencies.

Response Policy

Containment & recovery is the preferred clean-up response after natural dispersion. The use of dispersants is allowed on persistent oils amenable to dispersion where damage to sites of ecological or economic value is likely. However, their use is deemed inappropriate where a threat to marine life may result. Dispersants approved by the Department of Transport and Communications only may be used and only after written authorisation.


Government & Private

No dedicated oil spill response equipment is held by the government in Sierra Leone. The National Petroleum Company operates barges and a tug which may be utilised in the event of a spill. Military sources could provide aircraft for surveillance and monitoring duties. The Naval Wing will provide initial on-site manpower with additional forces from the fire services and police with advice from the oil companies. A limited amount of equipment is held by the operating oil companies. A variety of mechanical and agricultural equipment suitable for beach cleaning is available commercially.

Previous Spill Experience

 There do not appear to have been any major spills in Sierra Leone waters.


Prevention & Safety

MARPOL Annexes

Spill Response



'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force

Regional & Bilateral Agreements

  • Sierra Leone is not a party to any agreements.

Date of issue: April 2008

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