Mauritius is undergoing one of the worst chapters of its history. Since the bulk carrier MK Wakashio has run aground on the 25th of July 2020 in Pointe d’Esny, on the South-East coast, the island and the daily lives of its inhabitants have been harshly impacted. Owned by a Japanese company and flying the Panamanian flag, the stranded vessel has leaked around 1,000 tons of heavy oil into the crystal-clear waters of the region, following a breach in its hull. The situation is such that the National Crisis Committee, international aid (including France’s Polmar plan), NGOs and Mauritians have taken immediate actions to combat this environmental disaster and are rallying to counter the oil spill.
Volunteers from the South-East and across the island are committed to saving the island’s unique ecosystem encompassing protected coral reefs and endemic species (including the 2 classified Ramsar areas), and to protecting the living conditions of those working in the fishing and tourism industries.
How can one help?
Support is most welcome, be it in as a volunteer or through monetary donations. Workshops dedicated to the production of buoys (booms) made of sugar cane straw or hair– used as barriers in the lagoons–are scattered throughout the island. From Mahebourg’s waterfront to Terra’s Creative Park in Beau Plan, including the Bagatelle shopping mall, Uniciti Office Park in Cascavelle, Falaise Rouge in Pointe Jerome (with straw collected by CIEL group) and Anahita in the East, all the volunteers are actively involved. For participation or to donate hair, please check out the schedules and activities of the different locations and organisations.
Clean-up operations in the affected areas
Authorities and volunteers are on the frontline along a part of the South-East coast, such as in Mahebourg, Bambous-Virieux (at the barachois), Rivière des Créoles, Quatre Soeurs, Deux Frères and Vieux Grand Port, among others.
One watchword : safety !
It is essential to register beforehand by filling out the following form: HERE
Once you are allowed to go on the sites, necessary precautions are mandatory: wear PPE (personal protective equipment) and other suitable equipment such as rubber gloves, overalls, boots and goggles/masks. As advised by all parties involved in the clean-up, the collection of fuel oil cannot be carried out without protection owing to neurotoxic fumes and skin dangers.
Monetary and material donations
Donations and providing protective materials, equipment for sea divers, containers and supplies for volunteers are also required.
More information, contact Eco-Sud: HERE
How to rescue animals?
Guidelines of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation are explicit. Read them HERE.
Also call the National Parks and Conservation Services (NPCS) on 5251 1984 or 5789 2013.
As pumping at sea continues, due to several more cracks in the hull, the vessel is now at risk of breaking.
Luxury Indian Ocean stands behind volunteers, NGOs and Mauritius as we face this ordeal.