Suriname maroon village affected by oil spill
By Ivan Cairo
Caribbean Net News Suriname Correspondent
Thursday, August 28, 2008
PARAMARIBO, Suriname: Authorities in Suriname have launched an investigation into the spilling of several thousand liters of diesel fuel into a river, which left a maroon village in the interior without drinking water.
In a press release the National Institute for Environment and Research (NIMOS) disclosed that a gold mining company has accidentally spilled some 20,000 liters of diesel in the Suriname River close to the Bakaliba village.
“Villagers can no longer use the water to cook, wash or bathe,” NIMOS said.
Meanwhile the institute has conducted several checks to establish the extent of the contamination. Flora and fauna in the affected area have so far not been affected by the spill.
Reports indicate that, during an attempt to unload a quantity of fuel from an oil tanker of the Sarakreek Resources Corporation, two tanks each containing 10,000 liters diesel fell into the river due to strong winds.
According to villagers, there is a large oil film on the surface of the river. Meanwhile the mining company has taken several initiatives to provide the Bakaliba village with potable water, while the National Coordination Center for Disaster Management (NCCR) is already on the scene to assess the situation.
The oil tanker that caused the oil spill has meanwhile been confiscated by the Suriname Maritime Autority (MAS).