Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Oil spillage in Richards bay habour
Africa as it was reported that a leakage 1000 litres ( 264 gallons )
of oil had leaked to the Richards bay habour which lead the residents
Bayanda sbu Mthwetwa and Nhlakanipho Gumede and around the beach to
be disappointed and the Environmentalists claim careless attitudes
behind oil pipeline spill in Richards Bay
that reportedly killed fish, polluted
ENVIRONMENTALISTS say poor maintenance
and careless attitudes led to an oil pipeline
spill in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, that
reportedly killed fish and polluted the
A huge clean-up operation has been under
way since Monday morning. The leak from
a 2.5km( 1.55 miles ) pipeline that had not been used for
two years was first detected in Richards
Bay harbour on Sunday night.
Petroleum company Engen, which owns the
pipeline, said about 1,000 litres of fuel oil
leaked from a corroded pipe into the
harbour. But environmentalist are sceptical
about this figure and believe the damage
could be more severe.
Engen spokeswoman Bulelwa Payi
conceded that an investigation now under
way would determine the full extent of the
damage. "We have called in specialist oil-
spill response teams to help us solve the
problem," she said.
Some of these experts were scouring the
harbour for oil and others were using
skimmers to drain oil from the water.
The KwaZulu-Natal department of
agriculture and environmental affairs and
Transnet both said they were monitoring
the clean-up programme and investigation.
Department spokesman Jeffrey Zikhali said
initial investigations revealed that some oil
was left inside the suspended pipeline.
"At this stage it's very difficult to ascertain
exactly how much damage has been
caused as this is just a preliminary report
that we have conducted," he said. "But our
environmental specialists are on the scene
and we should be getting an update from
them daily on how much damage has been
Desmond D'sa, of the South Durban
Community Environmental Alliance, said he
had no doubt that Engen's alleged lack of
care caused this accident.
"I think it is about time that the
government hold these companies
accountable for the damage they are
causing to the environment," he said.
Megan Lewis, of nonprofit environmental
organisation groundWork South Africa,
echoed these sentiments, adding that she
heard that some fish and other estuary
creatures died due to the spill.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife CE Bandile Mkhize
said the organisation had also sent a team
of experts to ascertain the extent of the
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