Water is life and without water, people cannot do a lot of activities such as washing, cleaning, and fishing. However, there are other activities such as industrial activities which are a potential threat to the water. Mauritians protect against an oil spill on the Island for human good.
For example, if an industry disposes of waste in the water, the waste will contaminate it. There are also industrial activities that deal with oil products. If such an industry does a terrible mistake, the oil or fuel might get into the water. The effects of an oil spill are dangerous to the animals and plants in water. Oil spills may also hinder fishing, which might be a source of livelihood for the people nearby. In turn, the economy may plunge significantly.
A recent case happened in the island nation of Mauritius, whereby a shipwrecked and spilled fuel oil in water.
MV Wakashio Oil Spill
The Wakashio oil spill happened in the southern part of Mauritius after the Japanese Wakashio ran ashore on a coral reef in July. The ship started to leak after weeks and broke apart last month. Over 900 tonnes of oil overrun into the ocean. The Universal Shipbuilding Corporation of Tsu built the Wakashio.
Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth announced a state of environmental emergency and asked for French aid. France sent military and civilian tools from Reunion. The resident volunteers joined the mission to resolve the issue by making cloth barriers filled with straw and hair.
Japan sent some professionals to aid in the cleaning. Later on, the Indian Oil Mauritius Limited began to remove oil from the ship onto the Tresta Star. India has sent over 25 tonnes of technical tools to the island to aid control of the oil spill.
The United Nations Conference on Tarde and Development said:
“The spill risks bringing damaging results for the economy, food, security, health, and tourism industry.”
The failure of the authorities to react immediately has caused protests. First, over 74000 demonstrators gathered around Port Louis concentrating on the Prime Minister to resign. The Mauritian diaspora led the international demonstrations that occurred in New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, France, and Germany.
In the 2nd protests, the citizens went to Mahébourg in anger over the authorities mishandling the oil spills. A crowd of over 24000 protesters called for the second stepping down of the PM. According to reports, this is the biggest rally the country has seen in 4 decades. The citizens continue to demand the officials to solve the catastrophe for the sake of the coming generations.
The economy of the country depends on water for ecotourism and fishing activities. This might also be the other reason why the Mauritians are very angry at how the government is dealing with the issue.
The devastating situation in Mauritius is similar to the one that happened in Beirut where there was a big explosion. In both counties, its citizens are blaming the government for their negligence in tackling delicate issues.