A bulk carrier, MV Wakashio, that belongs to a Japanese company and sails under the flag of Panama ran aground in Mauritius on 25th July 2020. The ship was on its course to Brazil carrying 3,894 metric tons of low sulphur fuel oil, 207 metric tons of diesel and 90 metric tons of lubricant oil on board as reported by MarineLink.
Video credits, Reuben Pillay.
The first traces of oil spill became apparent after about a week. Despite the alarm raised by the NGOs, inhabitants and fishermen, the local authorities seemed to have acted slow in precautionary measures. A clear sign of poor leadership.
This is the first time that we are faced with a catastrophe of this kind and we are insufficiently equipped to handle this problem.
The Minister appears to have forgotten the MV Benita bulker shipwreck and oil spill that occurred four years ago. No lessons learned there! 😑
A report commissioned by the United Nations Environment Programme describes a national contingency plan for responding to oil spills that may occur in Mauritius and five of the important Islets. On page 37 of the report oil spill response strategies are detailed.
Mauritians expressed their disappointment, anger and sadness on social networks.
The Ministry claimed yesterday that was no danger and that the #Wakashio was not sinking. How do they explain what's happening right now? What did the government do to prevent the oil spillage and why did they fail? You had 12 days. We want answers!#EcologicalDisaster #Mauritius pic.twitter.com/QW6OLtCfV2— Oumme Sakina (@oummesakina) August 6, 2020
#Wakashio has been wrecked near the #Mauritian lagoon of Pointe d'Esny for the past 12 days. No visibly concrete actions to stop this.— The Logical Mauritian (@mauritianlogic) August 6, 2020
It is now spilling oil and on the way to become a marine disaster.
HELP!@climate@NatGeo @MarineLife_Aus @oceana @EU_Commission @Anon_Support pic.twitter.com/Px6OdqQ3we
Here's how the government tried to contain the spill. The black curves on the photo are the booms put in place.— Ariel Saramandi (@Ariel_Saramandi) August 7, 2020
This is the magnitude of the disaster at the moment.
But there are local efforts underway, too. Handmade booms made of bagasse to trap the oil. pic.twitter.com/rfis2lPw2j
Cry my beloved country. La tragédie redoutée est arrivée. L'huile du bateau échoué sur le récif se répand. Marée noire à Blue Bay. Ça sonne comme le titre d'un mauvais roman photo. #Wakashio pic.twitter.com/UpMny1symu— Aurel (@LapetiteAurel) August 6, 2020
View from Rivière des Créoles, south-east of Mauritius. The leak is coating fishermen's boats, the sand, the water, the life. This is heartbreaking. Pictures by R. Groochurn pic.twitter.com/EbGYdKGDVD— sabrinalikestoread (@brinagoo) August 7, 2020