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Johannesburg, South Africa, 7 August, 2020. Greenpeace Africa responds to reports about the MV Wakashio bulk carrier leaking tonnes of diesel and bunker fuel into the Indian Ocean.

Happy Khambule, Greenpeace Africa Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager, said: “The Japanese bulk carrier, MV Wakashio ran aground around July 25 and is now leaking tonnes of diesel and oil into the ocean. Thousands of species around the pristine lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d’Esny and Mahebourg are at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius’ economy, food security and health. Greenpeace Africa stands with affected Mauritian coastal communities and calls on the UN and all governments to support Mauritius’ cleaning efforts.” 

Recent months have seen a surge in oil catastrophes in Russia and Yemen. The current oil spill on the reef near Pointe d’Esny on the south east coast of the Mauritian island is likely one of the most terrible ecological crises ever seen on the small island country. According to reports that Greenpeace Africa had received, on the 5th of August residents from Pointe d’Esny were already warning that the ship was sinking.

“There is no guaranteed safe way to extract, transport and store fossil fuel products. This oil leak is not a twist of fate, but the choice of our twisted addiction to fossil fuels. We must react by accelerating our withdrawal from fossil fuels,” added Khambule. “Once again we see the risks in oil: aggravating the climate crisis, as well as devastating oceans and biodiversity and threatening local livelihoods around some of Africa’s most precious lagoons,” Khambule concluded.

Contact: Tal Harris, international communications coordinator, +221-774643195 (WhatsApp), [email protected]