Green Prophet is in touch with HEPCA, the eco group in Egypt, working on cleaning up and containing the oil spill in the Red Sea that started last week. We hope to bring you more updates by the end of the day. Meanwhile, the eco group in the region of the spill – the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) issued this report (released yesterday, June 23):
The community of the Red Sea has once again stood up to protect our environment, livelihood and health. The valiant efforts of fishermen, dive operators, hotels and the local government to control the spill must be commended. The governorate has committed all its resources in manual cleanups at nearly all affected beaches in cooperation with the local community.
The cleanup efforts over the past five days have been outstanding, over 90% of the impacted beaches on the mainland have been entirely cleaned, and work is still ongoing.
Dive operators have expressed their relief that there is no apparent damage to any dive sites; and that business is back to normal.
The Northern Islands protected area is the most heavily impacted region. These islands are one of the few pristine areas in the northern Egyptian Red Sea, and are of high ecological value as they host a number of key habitats, including mangroves, sea grass beds, protected bird nesting grounds, turtle nesting grounds and an extensive reef system.
The spill was from an oil rig approximately fifty nautical miles north of Hurghada that began to leak on Wednesday the 16th of June; the leak has been sealed.
We are still fervently awaiting the Nature Conservation Sector’s assessment of the damages at as well as a statement declaring the identity of the rig that is visibly spewing out the oil!
The damage to Egypt’s natural resources is a crime that must not go unpunished; and the complicity of any party with such a crime must be revealed and condemned. This incident clearly reveals that the oil concessions of the Ministry must be reconsidered especially any concessions near key habitats, protected areas and tourism hot spots.
We must continue to push as a community for the protection of our natural environment we must take a collective stand and clearly state that we shall not allow corruption and greed to destroy our ecosystem, livelihood and health.
Green Prophet plans to report updates as we get them.
Meanwhile, read more news on the Red Sea oil spill:
Red Sea Oil Spill Worse Than Reported
Jordanian Activists Work to Assess Damage at Gulf of Aqaba