Over the years Maritime CEO has championed all manner of authors with maritime-related books, whether it be industry tomes, thrillers, historical works, even children’s books – but today we have unearthed a new, unlikely category – a children’s book focusing on one of shipping’s most high profile recent shipping disasters.
Wakashio has been penned by Anita Bacha, a Mauritian barrister by training now turned poet and author of two previous books on spirituality and self-realisation.
The Panama-flagged Wakashio ran aground on reefs off the southeast coast of Mauritius on July 25 last year, resulting in a severe bunker spill and the ship splitting in two. Locals rushed to come up with their own ingenious ways of trying to mop up the spill in an island-wide clean-up operation while anger was aimed at the slow response from the authorities, something that persists today. Salvage operations to remove the stern of the wrecked bulker continue while a local court has been hearing testimonies from crewmembers this week.
Bacha’s story of the disaster, written in French, is told from the perspective of two Mauritian children, Angela and Oshin and forms part of her ongoing campaign to get local children to read more books.
“The main purpose of my book is to get children interested in reading books, and good books. My book is a good book because it has a positive message for kids. The message is nature heals,” Bacha tells Maritime CEO.
On just how long it will take for the island to recover from the fuel spill, Bacha says, “Nature will take the time that she needs to heal.”
Mauritius has demanded Japan pay $34m in reparations for the accident, widely believed to be the single worst ecological disaster to hit the Indian Ocean island.
The book is available to buy here.