Punta Majagua is located in Reina Popular Council. The Fuel Base of the Commercializing Enterprise of Cienfuegos was formerly located there. With the new investments from the Oil Refinery, this entity was moved in 1998 to the modern facility. The disassembling process of the base was not efficient and as time went by the whole coast line suffered severe consequences.
“There remained 4 tanks of about 490 m3 of hydrocarbons, which in time were spilt and caused severe pollution in the area and the bay waters, located only 10 meters from the place” explained the director of the Engineering Division of the Environmental Studies Center in Cienfuegos (acronym CEAC) in the southern territory, Helvis Bermúdez Acosta.
For ten years, the Fuel Commercializing Enterprise looked for alternatives for alleviating the problem, but unfortunately the results were negative. Luckily for all, by the end of 2009 researchers from CEAC started a project for the integrated rehabilitation of the area, financed by the entity responsible for the pollution.
According to Bermúdez Acosta, who also directs the project, among the main objectives stated by the research staff is to completely remove the hydrocarbons by using bio corrective methods, to eliminate the metallic structures, clean the macro spillway and to reforest the area with autochthonous vegetation.
Cleaning actions in the area, construction of management devices to store the split hydrocarbons and the application of a bacterial inoculation produced by the Marine Bio Products Center already show positive effects. “We are finishing the bio remedy stage, in which according to the lab tests made the levels of hydrocarbons concentration are below 1%. We are now getting ready for removing the metallic structures of the tanks, extracting the iron remains and reforesting the area.”
CEAC is also working on the formation of an environmentalist education among the inhabitants of Punta Majagua community, in order to favor the conservation of the environment after the cleaning and reforestation labors.
The hand of man put into jeopardy a coastal zone that used to show an attractive marine landscape. Let us hope that after being completely cleaned, humans keep and protect this piece of nature.
Something else about the project
The Integrated Environmental Rehabilitation Project of Punta Majagua, coastal peninsula located in the Midwestern area of Cienfuegos City, in the northwestern seaboard of the bay, has been designed on the basis of the experiences from other projects carried out in the country that show the viability of solution to hydrocarbon contamination and community work.
In Punta Majagua, a highly polluted peninsula with about 479 m3 of fuel oil, over 600 m3 of solid ferrous and non- ferrous residuum; showing also marked soil degradation in the coast line and over 70% of the area deforested; it is foreseen as main objective to contribute to the reduction of environmental degradation of Punta Majagua, Reina Popular Council.
The project started in June 2007 along with the Fuel Commercializing Enterprise of Cienfuegos, the Marine Bio Products Center and other enterprises and entities of the province. It has a program for treatment and disposition of hydrocarbons using bio- corrective techniques, as well as a program for extracting solid residuum and reforestation.
At the same time, a study on social nets is carried out along with a program for Environmental Education and Community Action, in which concepts from MICAC are applied, involving the population in the solution of their environmental issues.