This cement maybe the solution to oil spillage in Africa

Dr Jean Bosco Kazirukanyo, a chemical engineer from Burundi, has created a special type of cement which is capable of cleaning up lubricants and oil spills. After the Oil Spillage cement (OSP) is sprinkled on the surface of oil spills and lubricants, the powdery substance reacts chemically with these impurities to form tiny lumps that can be easily disposed. These lumps can also be used as concrete additives in cement factories.

One of Africa’s foremost experts, Dr Kazirukanyo is a specialist in cement process technology and chemistry. Spurred by the need to curb the effects of climate change in Africa, he ensured that this cement was capable of containing and ecologically recycling lubricants and oil spills. With the frequency of land and water pollution in oil rich African states, Kazirukanyo’s OSP cement, which has also earned him a place in the 2015 edition of Innovation prize for Africa, may be a possible solution to the age old issue.

The effect of oil exploration on plants, animals and the environment has been devastating. Illegal dumping of waste by mining and oil exploration companies into the large water bodies and oil bunkering contribute to high poverty rates in mining and exploration communities where mining or exploration take place.

Vedanta Resources Plc, which accounts for over 30 percent of Zambia’s copper production, has allegedly poisoned water sources in about four communities in the country. The villagers claim that both Kafue and Mushishima rivers from which they get water for drinking, farming and other domestic purposes have been poisoned by sulphuric acid and other toxic chemicals.  Kafue River serves as a source of drinking water for about 40 percent of these communities.

Apart from the overpowering smell that comes from toxic waste dumped in this river, the villagers are battling with paralysis, stomach pain and even death. Also, the soil around the copper belt which was said to be rich before mining began, is now deficient and produce from farm lands has reduced drastically.

A similar situation is ongoing in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. There are numerous cases of water pollution which destroys crops, contaminates water and poisons aquatic animals. Due to poor maintenance of infrastructure, corrosion of oil pipes and deliberate vandalism, thousands of Niger Delta dwellers are directly affected by the consequences of the pollution without a remedy in sight. Recently, the Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari approved the clean up of the damages caused by Shell exploration company in Ogoni land. This might finally put a closure to the delayed implementation of the Niger Delta environmental restoration

Although companies like Shell and Vedanta are usually compelled to compensate the affected communities, it’s not a long term solution to the problem. As such, Dr Kazirukanyo’s OSP cement could be a wise investment for the oil companies since it is environmentally friendly and an effective way to protect the communities’ water sources against oil and other pollutants.

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