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Map of Philippines, Guimaras Island highlighted

Oil Spill off coast of Guimaras Island, Philippines

August 31, 2006

On August 11, 2006, a bunker fuel tanker, carrying over two million litres of fuel sank in the southern Philippines and has leaked over 200,000 litres of fuel onto the coast of Guimaras Island.

 

According to reports from the Philippines, the tanker is over 600 metres below sea level and continues to leak fuel and is still spreading in other islands; approximately 4,000 families have been affected and/or displaced by the spill. Local efforts have proven difficult to cap the leak in the tanker and there has been no successful effort to remove the tanker from the sea.

 

Below are excerpts from a letter to Konrad Otto-Zimmermann, ICLEI’s Secretary General, from Mayor Jerry Treñas, President of the League of Philippine Cities and Mayor of Iloilo. There is an urgent need in the region for expertise on oil spill remediation or coastal area restoration.

 

According to the Philippine Coast Guard, as of 20 August 2006, an estimated ten percent or 200,000 litres of bunker fuel have leaked out of the tanker. The proximity of the spill to other areas is so close that they can also be affected unless the oil spill is contained and the tanker is salvage soon...

It is in this regard therefore that we appeal for your assistance for the Province of Guimaras in the crisis it is currently facing. They need experts on handling oil spills as well as other mitigating measures that can be undertaken

 

The Provincial Government of Guimaras and the communities of Guimaras are asking for support. If you wish to make a contribution to Project Sunrise, the remediation effort, you can:

  • Make a deposit or send a cheque to help the work being done,
  • Help in the coastal clean up (by providing tools, equipment and funds for labour)
  • Support a fund campaign for the relief and rehabilitation operations (describe the nature of campaign and intended beneficiary needs)
  • Provide tools, equipment and services to make the relief and rehabilitaiton operations more efficient and effective (indicate the type and nature of tools, equipment and services).

 

For more information on the spill and what can be done from anywhere in the world, the following website is available: www.projectsunrise.org. Additionally, individuals can also contact Mayor Treñas and the League of Philippine Cities by telephone (+63-2/521 6461) fax (+63-2/521 8239) or email (secretariat@lcp.org.ph) for information or to offer their support.

 

ICLEI continues to work on developing programs, for example the Resilient Communities and Cities Program, to build capacity at the local level and to help Local Governments move towards sustainability, even in the face of such disasters. For more information on this program, please visit: www.iclei.org/resilient

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