Honking and drumming, hundreds of people are protesting in the capital of Mauritius over the government’s handling of an oil spill from a grounded Japanese ship and the alarming discovery of dozens of dead dolphins in recent days.
The protesters waved the country’s flag on Saturday and held up signs with messages such as: “You have no shame.”
Thousands of residents were expected to attend the march through Port Louis a month after the ship struck a coral reef offshore and later cracked and spilled approximately 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil into fragile marine areas.
It began leaking fuel into the Mahebourg Lagoon on August 6, fouling a protected wetlands area and a small island that was a bird and wildlife sanctuary.
The Indian Ocean island nation depends heavily on tourism, and the spill has been a severe blow on top of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which has restricted international travel.
On Friday, authorities said at least 39 dead dolphins washed ashore but it is not yet clear what killed them. Some experts fear the chemicals in the fuel are to blame.
Residents and environmentalists have demanded investigations into why the ship strayed miles off course. Its captain and first officer have been arrested and charged with “endangering safe navigation”. Source: Al Jazeera