World Bank to contribute to marine pollution prevention programme in Mozambique

8 June 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 8 Jun – The World Bank will contribute US$11 million to Mozambique’s National Contingency Plan for Fighting Marine Hydrocarbon Pollution, to be drawn up by the National Marine Institute (Inamar) and budgeted at US$26 million.

At the end of a Maputo seminar, Inamar’s director of maritime pollution prevention services, Mario Guilherme, said the plan was an instrument that would allow the country to react faster in marine hydrocarbon pollution incidents.

The Inamar plan should be ready this coming November, he added.

“The most difficult pollution case, and which can affect Mozambique, is identified as level one, similar to the 1992 Katina P incident. Although not frequent, we have to be prepared,” Guilherme explained.

In April 1992, the Katina P, a Maltese-flagged tanker run by a Greek company, spilled 3,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil in Maputo Bay and adjacent areas.

The ship was on its last trip to India where it would be broken up when the crew received orders to load 66,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil in Venezuela for transport to the United Arab Emirates.

During the voyage the hull ruptured when it was in South African waters, but the captain headed to Mozambique, possibly to benefit from the country’s weak legal system.

The Katina P’s captain was retained in Mozambique to await results of the investigation, but ended up leaving the country illegally, allegedly with the help of the Greek consulate. (macauhub)