A potential major environmental crisis is currently brewing in the Gulf of Paria. For the past weeks the Venezuelan oil vessel the FSO Nabarima, which contains nearly 1 million barrels of crude oil, has been listing and leaking in the waters between Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.
According to international news reports it is at “major risk” of sinking.
If the Nabarima sinks it will trigger an ecological disaster of which Trinidad and Tobago has never seen. Our Marine coastline from Chaguramas to Icacos could be destroyed and along with it the livelihoods of thousands of people.
This dangerous situation demands immediate attention but the silence of the Rowley regime is deafening.
So far, all Energy Minister Franklin Khan has said is that the Government is monitoring the situation. Given the imminent threat posed by this vessel, the Government ought to utilize every possible avenue to prevent a disaster. It is alarming that no emergency or contingency plans have been put in place in the event of a major oil spill.
The Rowley regime, which has proven itself incompetent in dealing with serious issues, is once again failing our nation.
I want to remind the government they have a duty under the bilateral treaty on oil spills to get accurate information on this situation, and secondly, it should have started to consider how it would plan for the worst case which is a spill headed towards our west coast.
If the Rowley regime fails to act on the environmental threat the Nabarima presents, the entire fishing industry of Trinidad and Tobago may never recover, and our marine environment and coastlines would be destroyed.
Ms. Anita Haynes
Member of Parliament