Sunil Dowarkasing, a former senior environmental adviser to the Mauritian govermnment has accused the country’s current administration of gross negligence in its handing of the MV Wakashio oil disaster.
Efforts were further increased on Monday to empty the stranded Japanese vessel of 2,500 tonnes of oil before it worsens the level of pollution already caused.
But Sunil Dowarkasing, a former Mauritian MP, is unimpressed:
The government was acting on the advice of the company, on their experts etc, without taking the best interests of the people of Mauritius and the best interests of what should be done to protect our country, our lagoon, from the potential (spillage).
“It was a potential spillage at that time and this is gross negligence by the government.”
Pressure is continuing to mount on the government of Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth to explain why it didn’t take immediate action to avert the environmental disaster.
There are concerns that the vessel could break up and greatly worsen the situation. More than 1,000 tonnes of fuel has aready washed up on the island nation’s eastern coast.
Daveena Aubeeluck Bauluck, co-owner of the Scuba World Diving Centre in Mahébourg, says members of the public have been flocking to help:
“Mauritians are coming en masse to help us make the oil booms. And these booms are taken by boats, volunteer boats. And thanks to this, the booms are managing to retain the oil spilled from the Wakashio.”
Although the ship ran aground on July 25, Sunil Dowarkasing said work to remove the oil it was carrying only started last week when the hull cracked and started emptying the fuel into the sea around Mauritius’ south east coast.
Envrionmental activisit Greta Thunberg tweeted to highlight the fundraising efforts by Mauritius’ branch of Fridays For Future: