by Kate Chandler 12 Aug 14:00 UTC Ecological disaster in kite paradise © Ydwer van der Heide / Svetlana Romantsova Tweet
The GKA Kite World Tour freestyle and wave paradise of Mauritius has suffered an ecological disaster of unprecedented size. Known for its crystal clear waters and barrelling powerful waves, the island of Mauritius has suffered a huge oil spill, which is currently under way just off the coast.
On July 25th the MV Wakashio, ran aground on a coral reef close to shore. Attempts were made to float the vessel but unfortunately failed, and may have led to the cracked hull from where the oil is now leaking. A race is now under way to pump the remaining oil from the ship, as the risk of it splitting in two is high. It really is a race against time and tides as conditions and swell have hampered operations so far.
The spill is close to two environmentally protected marine ecosystems and the Blue Bay Marine Park Reserve. Concerns are also growing for the thousands of local people whose livelihoods will be impacted by the spill. The island relies heavily on fishing and tourism, and was already affected by the coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to international travel.
GKA World Tour Head Manager Tom Hartmann lives on the island and has been working closely with the local community to find out the best way to get help to the area directly. Eco-Sud a local NGO will be collecting funds for all expenses linked to the cleaning and protection of the lagoon during this crisis. Tom is certain this is the fastest way to support the mammoth clean up effort that is currently under way, and to contribute towards further action post crisis.
You can find out more about Eco-Sud and donate directly here. In the meantime our support and thoughts are with everyone on the island of Mauritius.