September 01, 2020
Due to the Government’s handling of the oil spill which has ranged the South-East coast of Mauritius, thousands of people came to the roads and protested against it. This is called as one of the biggest protests in these island nations within recent years.
Recently over 39 dolphins are dead and were washed up on the store. It is speculated that the incident occurred due to the result of the oil spill.
The oil spill, which came amid the COVID pandemic has been a major blow to the country that relies massively on tourism and has left a 15 km stretch of the coastline that is perceived as a biodiversity hotspot tainted with oil.
In late July, M V Wakashio, which is a Japanese ship owned by Nagashiki Shipping, has a spilt of over 1000 tonnes of oil in the Indian Ocean. The boat was transporting an estimated 4000 tonnes of oil and was operated by Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. When there was a wave of dead dolphins, the Government amended the number of dead whales and dolphins.
This result has outranged against the people, and around 100000 people filled in the streets of Mauritius’s capital city, Port Louis and termed as the largest protest in 40 years. The protesters were dressed in Black and also held drawings of Dolphins and signs saying that “Citizens Wake Up Citizens” and “Dolphin Lives Matter”. Some protestors carried Mauritian flags and wrapped them around statues, including one of Queen Victoria.
People are suspicious as they think that Government is hiding information about the details of the oil spill. According to their sources, a case has been filed against the country’s environmental Ministry in the court.
This sinking of the boat came forward in the evening of 31st August. But on the same day Pravind Jugnauth, the Prime Minister of Mauritius addressed the country in a television address with no media present. People were surprised and criticised as the Government focus more on the country’s COVID cases than the oil spill cleanup operation.
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