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by sheena seegoolam 10 months ago in Humanity

The unfortunate shipwreck

On the 25th July 2020, the MV Wakashio ran aground the coral reefs in Mauritius at Pointe D’Esny, a rare sanctuary of wildlife. The Japanese ship, which was filled with 4,000 tonnes of oil had an engine breakdown which led them to hit the shore in Mauritius on their way to Brazil. The captain, Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar and its crew managed to get of the ship a few days after the ship got stuck into the lagoon.

The crew and its captain were celebrating a birthday on the day the ship ran aground. They were arrested by the local police in Mauritius. The government of Mauritius did not take the matter into their hands right away; they thought that the situation was under controlled and regretted this decision soon enough. The ship started to crack, and oil was spilling into the beautiful lagoon of Mauritius. The flora and fauna of the island is very important as there are many endemic plants and animals which the island officials look after quite closely. Moreover, the locals had to take the matter into their hands to avoid the oil to move to rapidly and affect other parts of the lagoon. Many of them volunteered and donated their hair, which as reported by the local news, was a great way to stop the oil from moving away and was easily collected into barrels.

As a matter of fact, the government did not take the blame of what happened, instead they just assumed that they did the right thing, and everything is going fine. This became an environmental crisis, not only the locals were suffering from this oil split, many mammals and fish who lived in the ecosystem where the shipwreck happened died, years of hard work to save the coral reefs were lost. The oil spilt released a lot of toxic substances into the ocean but also in the air, the air was dense and filled with benzene, xylene, toluene and ethylbenzene, which is toxic for people to breathe.

The fishermen on the island were the most affected from this shipwreck. Sunil, a local fisherman, who lives on the south coast of the island, shared his opinion and how he had to change his life since they were unable to fish in the lagoon,” Mo senti qui sans la peche mo pas capav nourri mo fami et mone bizin ale ale travail avec ban marchant dans bazaar pou gagne ene ti cass.” He also added, “quand mo ale la peche dans lagon pena meme poisson et bizin faire attention qui sa ban poisson la pas contaminer sinon li vine ene problem, sa la maree noir la ine met ene stop dans mo lavie et mo p gagne difficulte pour relever.” The fishing industry was highly affected as they were unable to export fish to other countries, which crashed the economy. They had to make sure that the fish were not contaminated so that people were would not fall sick.

This was an unfortunate moment for Mauritius, but they managed to clean the ocean and as from this date, the government has stated that they did their last clean up and the lagoon will recover.


sheena seegoolam

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