Connecting Ports and People

Ports play a vital role in the global economy, with over 90% of goods being traded across the ocean. Yet ports also have a large impact on the lives of people living along the coastline, from changing their landscapes and providing employment opportunities to affording opportunities to connect to the rest of the world.

The large role that ports play in coastal communities means that port security is crucial to the well-being of a country’s culture and economy. Ports are often spread over thousands of hectares of sea and land, meaning that criminals have many opportunities to smuggle illegal weapons, drugs, and commit multiple crimes.

The UN Office on Drug and Crime’s Eastern Africa office has enhanced port security in the Western Indian Ocean and recently held photo exhibitions in Madagascar, Mauritius, and Tanzania to showcase how ports and people are interconnected, thus underscoring the need to maximize port security.

A picture tells a thousand words, as our photo exhibits show below:

Mahajanga, Madagascar

Photographer: Rijasolo

“Whether they are port dockers, dhow captains, fishermen or simple evening strollers, their economic and social life is directly or indirectly linked to this maritime environment. My role as a photographer is to reveal this friendship between them and “their” sea,” explains Rijasolo, the photographer.


Photographer: Keivan Cadinouche

“A port is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. A port never stops. There are a lot of actors who gravitate around this area. And indirectly, the port creates a very close link between its inhabitants, its surroundings and its activity.

I also had the chance to meet men and women who work there every day. They do jobs that we do not necessarily know: divers who inspect the hulls of ships, taxi boats, supply boats, shipyards with teams of 500 people capable of repairing all the parts of a ship, fishermen who sew the tuna fillets, propeller spinners… It’s a world of enormous proportions.”

Source: United Nations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *