Hydrography: Support to Shipping and Navigation

In this discussion; third in the series, Olumide Omotoso talks on the key role of hydrographic operations in smooth running of the ports, especially with having ships navigate easily and safely along the port channels.

‘The vital role of hydrography can be seen in the way that we operate the other critical infrastructures like the ports, the waterways that go into the ports. What we do in hydrography is to determine the extent of the water bodies, the dimensions; determine what is inside of it, what is on top of it, and be able to chart it.

And the purpose of doing this is to enable us to provide safety to navigation and to be able to have a management decision support system where before you do anything either in engineering, oceanography, or in military, you are able to know what the dynamics of that river is before you put anything into it, even in dredging and other allied areas.

So, how has hydrography been able to support Nigeria? Let’s look at navigation. Before a ship comes into the water, a survey of the water is done to tell you this is the depth of the water, this is where is safe to pass in the rivers, to tell where you can put your aids to navigation, to demarcate the channels, where is shallow and where is deep.

So, you create a road in the water. That is a support to shipping and navigation. If you do that, it means that a ship can carry a chart and be able to go through a part that is safe into the port or its destination.’

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