TASAC forms taskforce to curb oil spills in sea

THE Tanzania Shipping Agency (TASAC) has formed a taskforce involving crude and refined oil stakeholders to control oil spills in the sea and protect the environment.

Speaking to journalists in Dar es Salaam over the weekend TASAC’s Manager of Navigation Aid and Environmental Safety, Mr Celestine Mkenda, said the decision was reached after learning there was a need to control oil spilling in the sea most often caused by accidents involving tankers, barges, pipelines, refineries, drilling rigs and storage facilities.

Mr Mkenda who was speaking on behalf of TASAC’s Director-General Kaimu Mkeyenge, said however there were so far no major threats brought about by the oil spill because the agency has put in place stringent measures.

The measures among others, force oil transporters to preserve the environment.

“If the refined oil leaks in a small amount it may not have a big effect on marine life and environment because it melts in the sun. Unlike heavy or crude oil, which if it is spilled even in a small amount it poses major risks and threat. This is why we need concerted efforts and preparedness to control and combat such incidents,” said Mkenda.

Engineer Khalfan Hamad Hassan, Zanzibar’s  coordinator of combating sea pollution, said the formation of the taskforce was important and has come at the right time.

“My call is for the stakeholders to be ready to build unity and be part of the taskforce as soon as possible so that we can start gathering strength and buy rescue equipment and train responsible individuals,” he said.

Other risks of oil being spilled into the sea includes when the fish consumes the oil particles, it can cause health problems to those who eat fish.

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