DURBAN – The United Phosphorus Limited (UPL) warehouse in Cornubia, north of Durban, was burnt down during the July unrest in the country.
This caused chemicals present at the warehouse to go up in flames. Firefighters were called in to contain the fire, however, the water used to hose the blaze down flowed into water sources causing dead freshwater creatures and vegetation.
Nazeer Jamal, Managing Director of Khweza Environmental Consulting, who has been working on emergency situations as such said, “it is always that last minute decision that should have been made but didn’t get made and then disaster strikes and then [have regrets on what should have been done].
He continued that at the end of the day it is the responsibility of the facility, government, social society who plays a role in environmental disasters.
UPL is an Indian-based multinational company that supplies fertilizers such as Herbicide, fungicide, biologicals and acaridae amongst others.
Jamal believes that the potential for danger should have always been there and in terms of safety, health and environment and especially quality as this should be considered as a major hazardous site.
“This has an immediate impact onto the ecosystem and when we speak of the ecosystem it is just not about the water resource it is about the consumer of the water resource,” said Jamal.
However, it is still unknown what the causes will be in the long-term.
Inayet Wadee spoke to Nazeer Jamal, Managing Director of Khweza Environmental Consulting, on News & Views about the effects of United Phosphorus Limited (UPL) fire has on the ecosystem. Listen to the full discussion here: