Charitable trust founded by MOL in Mauritius after Wakashio disaster

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has established a charitable trust in Mauritius to support environmental and social projects in the island state.

The move, pending the launch of a MOL Japanese Foundation, follows the Wakashio (IMO 9337119) disaster in July 2020, which ran aground off Mauritius and eventually polluted a significant part of a marine protected area. MOL had chartered the vessel, which eventually broke up.

The company has been working with Wakashio’s owner, Nagashiki Shipping, and the Mauritian authorities to rehabilitate on mangrove and coral reefs. The new charitable trust will receive an initial funding of ¥300m (just under $3m) and will be managed locally. A total of $7.24m will be put into the trust.

The trust will also aim to strengthen the presence of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean Rim and to strengthen relationships between the Mauritian and Japanese peoples.

The Court of Investigation into the grounding of the vessel has been continuing in the capital city of Port Louis.

The shortcomings of the National Coast Guard has been highlighted. The Central Criminal Investigation Department has not yet recovered any additional data from the ship because the dismantling of the stern has been put on hold due to unfavourable weather conditions.

Meanwhile, The Ministry of the Environment has organized a collection of the toxic waste from the Wakashio. The waste will then be shipped overseas. The waste consists of solid wastes and contaminated sludge from the oil spill in the lagoons. According to the Council of Ministers which met on June 25th the waste is considered toxic under the First Schedule of the Environment Protection (Standards for hazardous wastes) Regulations 2001 and therefore could not be disposed of locally.

The waste will be shipped in batches of 10×40-foot containers. The first shipment is scheduled for  July 2, and the leftover garbage was expected to be shipped by the end of August 2021.