YEMEN Press Agency

Environmental disaster threatens Socotra archipelago

SANAA, Feb. 02 (YPA) – In the past few days, new fears have been raised of an environmental and humanitarian catastrophe that would hit the Yemeni province of Socotra, as a result of an oil spill from a ship belonging to the merchant and reformist leader Ahmed Al-Eisi.

In a report made by Yemen Press Agency, several activists from the people of Socotra revealed a new leak of large quantities of black oil covering large areas of the coast surrounding the area of Delisha, east of the city of Hadiboh, the center of Socotra, leaving a black mucous substance similar to asphalt.

The activists emphasized that the new oil leak might cause to create an environmental catastrophe imminent on marine life, especially in the Delisha area, one of the most important areas rich in coral reefs.

On January 23, Delisha area witnessed a similar oil spill by The Gulf Dove ship, a dilapidated oil tanker and belongs to Overseas Shipping Company owned by Ahmed Al-Eisi, which operates without permits and is not suitable for sailing, according to the activists.

They suggested that the new pollution incident was due to the corrosion of the lower tanks of the ship due to rust and waves, after the oil ship ran aground on the coast of Delisha, east of the port of Hulve, which is about 15 kilometers from the city of Hadiboh, the center of the Socotra archipelago, since 2018.

The dilapidated ship of Gulf Dove carries nearly 7,000 metric tons of oil derivatives.
The activists noted that since the ship ran aground until now, the concerned authorities of the coalition forces in the archipelago have not taken any steps and measures to remove the ship that threatens the island classified by the United Nations as one of the global environmental sites.

Ahmed Al-Eisi, a Yemeni merchant, has a bad reputation for smuggling and looting oil with the political and military leaders of the Islah Party, and his company owns dilapidated oil ships that caused significant pollution to the environment in several areas, the latest of which was the oil spill near the coast of Brega and Al-Hiswa Reserve on June 19, 2021.

On January 12, the Commercial Court of First Instance in Aden, southern Yemen, issued a decision to sell the group of ships belonging to Overseas Company and owned by the reformist leader Ahmed Saleh Al-Eisi.

The decision decided to sell the group of stranded and dilapidated ships as marine debris, as their presence constitutes a source of danger to the course of the navigational channel of the port of Aden and the marine environment in general.