By Abdullah Toorawa, Associate Principal - Fund Accounting, Mauritius
The capsizing of oil tanker MV Wakashio near the southeast coast of Mauritius on Wednesday 25 August saw approximately 1,000 tonnes of oil spill into a nearby lagoon, Pointe d’Esny. As our island is home to a uniquely rich marine ecosystem and rare wildlife, it was quite the ecological emergency.
Waves of volunteers rushed to the affected site to help limit the already severe environmental damage and kick off the clean-up. Every day, dozens of volunteers from across the island rolled up their sleeves, including the IQ-EQ Mauritius team! With support from the business, we were able to take some extra time off so that we could dedicate a few days to the national clean-up operation.
Twelve of us headed to Beau Plan where volunteers built artisanal oil booms, mainly from sugarcane trash but also human hair! Did you know human hair is very effective as it can absorb around eight times its weight in oil?! It has been proven to be great resource in containing the lagoon oil spill and protecting our world-renowned sites such as the Blue Bay Marine Park and Ile Aux Aigrettes.
Although it was hard work, it was very satisfying to team up with colleagues outside of the office and play a small part in helping to save our lagoon.
The good news is that the remaining oil from the shipwreck has been pumped and the oil is being cleared from the ocean. Once the sea is clear of the oil, the beaches will need to be cleaned and I’m certain that Team IQ-EQ will play our part once more when the time arrives.