Ghana’s fishing communities fear oil spills…

…And rightly so.

Yesterday I wrote that Ghana has been producing oil from its offshore Jubilee field since December 2010, yet still lacks monitoring vessels, equipment and personnel.

Something else that’s missing: funds to compensate fishing communities in the event of a spill.

This video recounts the fears of the residents of Abuesi, a small fishing community near Sekondi-Takorad (a.k.a. “Oil City”). Travel up and down the coast, and you’ll hear the same fears echoed again and again.

What will happen when a village that is entirely dependent on its fishing operations for its survival is shut down by an oil spill?

For now, Ghana has no plan. Officials prefer to talk instead about the safety of the industry.

Please visit iwatch news to read my latest article on the state of Ghana’s environmental regulation and emergency preparedness.

This is not simply a Ghanaian problem. There’s not a single country in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea region prepared to face a major spill. But drilling is booming and few are paying attention to what’s really going on offshore.

Please read the article, share it, like it, recommend it and all that stuff. Several follow-up stories are in the works and, as I said yesterday, it’s your interest and support that allow me to continue this work.

The article on iwatch news:
http://www.iwatchnews.org/2012/01/19/7896/west-africa-oil-boom-overlooks-tattered-environmental-safety-net

You can also read the article on the “Price of Oil” website where you’ll find lots of valuable information on the true costs of fossil fuels.

I have additional stories, photos and videos about Ghana’s oil viewable at the Pulitzer Center:
http://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/ghana-oil-offshore-platform-kwame-nkrumah-environment-fishing-industry  

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