AMERICA/PERU - A month after the oil spill in Inayo, the Church calls for urgent action

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 environment   area crisis   natural catastrophe   local churches  

Inayo (Agenzia Fides) - On 25 January there was a first oil spill, followed shortly after by another, in Inayo, in the Amazon region of northern Peru, from the pipeline that crosses the province of Bagua. A month after the disaster, His Exc. Mgr. Alfredo Vizcarra and the pastoral workers of the forest area of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Francisco Javier, express their concern and demand urgent action "to resolve the damage that this incident is causing to nature in this region and in particular to the people of the different communities that live on the banks of the Chiriaco and Maranon rivers in the area of Inayo". In the statement sent to REPAM (the Pan-Amazonian ecclesial network), sent to Fides, says: "the authorities must, in a responsible and fast manner, provide a satisfactory response to this disaster".
The apostolic Vicar presents a series of requests to the authorities: to give compensation to those affected by the loss of agricultural crops, their only means of subsistence; to take measures to ensure that water does not entail any risk to the health and lives of people, animals and the environment; carry out a continuous monitoring of the waters of the polluted rivers; inform the public of all actions to protect their health and the environment.
The statement concludes by emphasizing the need to go to the causes of these incidents, so they are not repeated, and assuming that perhaps "the oil installations are obsolete (40 years) and would need to be renovated or replaced".
According to the Federation of Native Communities of the Rio Corrientes (FECONACO) there are 60 affected communities whose inhabitants (about 60,000) cannot find water to drink, wash and prepare food. Their main power supply comes from rivers, where they fish the fish, but now they are contaminated by the spilled oil. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 24/02/2016)