Update on Mauritius Oil Spill Emergency Relief: a video message from EPCO
Support to the affected communities continue
Following the oil spill disaster caused by grounded MV Wakashio off Mauritius in August 2020, Peace Boat Disaster Relief (PBV) launched an emergency relief fund to support local NGOs working for environmental recovery and assistance to the communities affected by the disaster. More than 8,500 individuals and organizations in Japan responded to the call for donation and made contribution to the fund. One of the organizations PBV has supported is a Mauritius-based NGO, Environmental Protection and Conservation Organization (EPCO) has implemented a year-long project to support communities in 17 villages along the south-eastern coast of the Mauritius island. The project aims to offer the residents alternative livelihood to generate incomes that were lost significantly due to the oil spill and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the clean-up program in the affected areas by the government and local organizations is completed, some oil is still stuck in between mangroves. It is estimated that it will take years for the environment to be fully recovered from the damage. The coastal communities that depend their living on fishing and tourism, had been struggling to make their living because of the pandemic even before the oil spill.
The post oil-spill emergency plan by EPCO
In order to support the villagers to find alternative ways to gain income, EPCO launched a project to support them by offering opportunities to take on other livelihoods than fishing and tourism until the conditions are fully restored. As a part of the project, EPCO has prepared a set of exhibits to help them start new livelihoods, such as apiculture, small-scale agriculture, and chicken raising. They are planning to visit the villages and provide the equipment and necessary technical advice upon requests from the villagers. All the exhibits have been carefully designed to fit in small space as most of the villagers can only afford limited land for alternative livelihood. The project aims not only to provide short-term assistance to the affected communities but also to support them build long-term economic stability which is resilient to possible future disasters.
Please watch a video message from EPCO on our YouTube channel and learn about the ongoing efforts to build local capacity to recover from the environmental and financial challenges. Click here to watch the YouTube video