The race is on to save the uMsunduzi River in KwaZulu-Natal after a massive, toxic spill of oil and caustic soda from Willowton Oil turned the river into a soapy mess, choking oxygen supplies to fish, plants, invertebrates and other aquatic life.
Appointed by the Willowton Group to evaluate the disastrous ecological damage arising from the recent industrial spill from its Pietermaritzburg plant, renowned river ecologist Mark Graham has not minced his words on the impact and the clean-up task ahead.
Graham, the director of GroundTruth, a highly rated environmental consultancy agency focused on water resources, said there had been no need to do autopsies on any dead fish to determine what chemical had caused the massive fish kill.
"It was not as if it was an unknown chemical source caused this. We had a smoking gun and knew what the calibre and type of gunpowder was that was used," quipped Graham, referring to the industrial spill of 1.6 million litres of edible oil and caustic soda.
Willowton is the producer of household brands such as Sunfoil and Canola cooking oil as well as Sunshine D and D'lite margarines.
And it has not only been fish that have been affected,...