Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 31 July |
Saint of the Day: St. Ignatius Loyola
home iconNews
line break icon

Mauritius cardinal hails public cleanup effort after oil spill

J-P Mauro - published on 08/21/20 - updated on 08/20/20

The small island nation in the Indian Ocean is in a state of environmental emergency.

The people of Mauritius are banding together to help clean up a massive oil spill, which has placed about 10 square miles of the island nation’s coast in jeopardy. BBC explains that the spill occurred when a Japanese oil carrier, called the MV Wakashio, ran aground on a coral reef in late July. The vessel became derelict and started to break up in early August, leaking part of its load into Mauritius’ previously pristine waters.

While the situation is dire, the people of Mauritius are banding together to help preserve their scenic landscape through an island-wide effort. Catholic News Service reports that Cardinal Maurice Piat of Port-Louis has hailed the public response, which has drawn together people of all faiths in Mauritius. The prelate said:

“Numerous families are afflicted by a pestilential and persistent odor — fishermen and all those living from the sea are suffering particularly, while ecological treasures in our coastal bays and islets are gravely damaged,” said Cardinal Piat. “Amid the pain shared by so many, I salute the beautiful outpouring of active and enterprising solidarity now showing itself in a bid to save what might still be saved.”

The CNS report goes on to note that the crisis has led to a strengthening of religious and cultural ties between the many peoples of Mauritius. The nation’s Interreligious Council planed an interfaith prayer service, with the land, those who clean up, and the effort itself as intentions.

As the people of Mauritius rush to attend to the spill before long-term affects can set in, members of Greenpeace Africa warn that the damage may have already been done. According to a report from Global News, featured above, the remaining oil is being siphoned from the crumbling vessel, but it is unclear if it can all be removed before the hull breaks further.

Read the full story at Catholic News Service.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
Mathilde De Robien
Did you know Princess Di was buried with a rosary?
Zelda Caldwell
German women’s gymnastics teams modest dress protests sport’s ...
Lauren Daigle
J-P Mauro
After 3 years Lauren Daigle ousts herself from #1 Billboard spot
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.