Mubarak Village oil spill affects fishermen's livelihood, govt fails to start cleanup operation

Published October 26, 2018
The locals have complained that no efforts have been made to clean the oil spill, which has destroyed their “source of income”. —Photo by author
The locals have complained that no efforts have been made to clean the oil spill, which has destroyed their “source of income”. —Photo by author
"The oil spill has ruined our fishing nets and the fishermen have suffered huge monetary losses," says local resident.
"The oil spill has ruined our fishing nets and the fishermen have suffered huge monetary losses," says local resident.

The concerned authorities have so far been unable to identify the actual cause of oil spill along the Mubarak Village-Churna Island coastal belt, which has badly affected the livelihood of local fishermen, while a cleanup operation has also not started despite the claims made by Balochistan's Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA).

According to a statement issued by the Balochistan Environmental protection Agency (BEPA), a 300-metre stretch of the coastal belt located North-East of the Churna Island has been affected by the oil spill.

The locals have complained that so far no efforts have been made to clean the oil spill, which has "destroyed their livelihood and the only source of income”.

“The oil spill has ruined our fishing nets and rafts used for fishing. The fishermen have suffered huge monetary losses due to the spill,” a local resident told DawnNewsTV.

The locals have complained that no efforts have been made to clean the oil spill. —Photo by author
The locals have complained that no efforts have been made to clean the oil spill. —Photo by author

After the news regarding the oil spill surfaced on Thursday, the provincial authorities ordered Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited (BPPL), which operates a facility near the location of oil spill, to halt its operations till further notice.

On Friday, the PDA had claimed that the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) has sent boats and equipment for a cleanup operation along the Mubarak Village-Churna Island coastal belt. However, the cleanup operation had not started till the filing of this report.

Meanwhile, the deputy director of BEPA in Labella Region, Muhammad Khan Uthmankhail, inspected the onshore and offshore area to find the reason behind the oil spill.

Uthmankhail told DawnNewsTV that no oil spill was observed from Byco's Single point mooring (SPM) operation or the attached pipeline.

However, the spillage of tar and oil has wreaked havoc on the entire stretch of the coast from Mubarak Village to Churna Island and a strong stench permeates the area, local residents and fishermen said.

The BEPA has also placed a temporary ban on all tour operators at Charna Island, who were operating without no-objection certificates (NOC).

An order issued by the authority stated that the operators had not submitted an environmental management plan and added that the Regional Environmental Protection Agency office at Hub would facilitate their registration process.

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