The United Nations has taken a vital step to avert a potential ecological emergency, by removing over a million barrels of crude oil from a deteriorating supertanker of the coast of the middle eastern nation of Yemen.
The supertanker FSO Safer emerged a representation of the necessity for immediate action to prevent severe harm to the marine ecosystem in a region with important international shipping routes.
UN authorities have long issued cautions about the potential of the 47-year vessel to produce major failures during sailing, as it lies north of the Yemeni port of Hudaydah. The spillage might be the 5th largest leak from an oil vessel, because the Supertanker is able to contain four times as much as oil the Exxon Valdez did.
“United Nations has begun an operation to defuse what might be the world’s largest ticking time bomb. This is an all-hands-on-deck mission and the culmination of nearly two years of political groundwork, fundraising and project development.”UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.
The United Nations Secretary-general, Antonio Guterres disclosed that, it would cost UN over $20 billion to clean up the mess on the Red Sea, which will disrupt shipments in the coming weeks.
For the assignment to be accomplished, thus the total destruction of the Safer and the removal of any environmental hazards, that poses danger to the Red Sea, the UN Secretary-General has requested for an additional $20 million.
Guterres highlighted the “relentless political work” necessary “in a country devastated by eight years of war” as he complimented the project’s cross-UN cooperation.
He further emphasized that, this was just a “milestone in the journey,” and that the next step would be to secure the new ship to a specific safety buoy.
According to the United Nations Development Program, a sizable leak from the Vessel would cause marine life in the Red Sea to be totally destroyed.
The spokesperson of the UNDP, Sarah Bel highlighted series of worries for villages across the Red Sea, who are already plucked into famine due to civil war. She further said that, the spillage “would wipe out 200,000 livelihoods instantly” and “fish stock would take twenty-five years to recover.”
Sarah Bel cautioned amid this “emergency phase” of the operation, which she described as the first of its type, and promised that measures have been put in place to “secure success.”
In a country ripped off by conflict, over 80% of Yemenis are dependent on international aid, meaning, oil spillage from the vessel might cut off all local imports, thus preventing the country from receiving food, gasoline and other essential life supplies via the sea.
For more than 30 years, the FSO Safer has been anchored on Yemen’s west coast, 4.8 nautical miles southwest of the Ras Issa peninsula.
The production and maintenance of the FSO safer ceased in 2015, due to the pro-government’s conflict with the anti-government Houthi rebel, which has persisted since. The ship has not seen any major maintenance as a result.