Japan equips Sri Lanka to combat oil-spill threats
Jan 22, 2016 15:16 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)
SPILL COMBAT: Japan Coast Guard and Sri Lanka Coast Guard Oil Spill Response Team members laying oil fences
ECONOMYNEXT - Japan has started providing training and equipment to Sri Lanka's Coast Guard to counter oil-spills with about 25 percent of the world's oil being transported along sea lanes bordering the island.
The Japan International Corporation Agency said experts from the strike team at Japan Coast Coast guard had provided short-term training to the Oil Spill Response Team at Sri Lanka Coast Guard.
Sri Lanka Coast Guard and Fire Brigade officers were also being sent to Japan for long term training.
Japan is also looking at providing two specially designed and built semi-large patrol vessels to Sri Lanka under a plan boost Sri Lanka's maritime safety capabilities.
About 550 million tonnes of oil or about a quarter of the world's oil shipped went along sea lanes by passing Sri Lanka, JICA said.
"An oil spillage, a marine accident in the nearby sea lane of the Indian Ocean will affect the safety and security of vessel transports and is very likely to cause extensive damage and serious influences to Sri Lanka’s environment, economy and livelihoods in the tourism sector," JICA said.
A joint exercise with the Coast Guard, Fire Brigade and Sri Lanka Port Authority was also conducted.
Sri Lanka Coast Guard had already faced a fire and oil spill at Kudawella Fishery Habour and used equipment provided by JICA such as oil fences to contain damage.
An accidental spill from an oil pipeline into the Lunawa Lagoon in Dikkovita at the end of 2015 was also fought with oil fences given by JICA.
In another incident 12,000 litres of diesel had been released to the Nilwala River near the intakes of the Water Board, where oil was being absorbed to the soil, making it more difficult to clean it up. (Colombo/Jan22/2016)