Shocking photos – taken at the risk of life

“It’s the only water that we have.” South Sudanese are forced to use water that they know has been contaminated with oil wastes – often from rain fall washing pollutants into rivers

How uncaring can you get? Over the last few years, oil companies in South Sudan have simply abandoned facilities – and these environmental time-bombs are now exploding

Shocking photo – one taken at the risk of life. This pit is full of lead, barium, salts and other oil wastes – which will make their way into South Sudan’s water and on to its land – and thus into millions of victims’ bodies

Abandoned chemicals – one huge source of contamination in South Sudan. Just another way in which oil companies show that they simply don’t care about humanity. Photo taken by We Are Witness network of frontline, courageous journalists

 

 

“Our lives are at stake!” تقرير تلوث المياه

Our lives are at stake!”

Deadly black tide of oil contamination”: protests erupt throughout South Sudan

By Francis Michael Gwang, We Are Witness

August 24, 2018

“Spills from the oil wells owned by Petronas are endangering the lives of more than 50,000 residents of Tarjas,” states Lam Tongar, the minister of information for Northern Liech state. Tarjas is an oil-producing region in the state, which is located in South Sudan.

This threat to their lives stems from the oil’s having made its way into the residents’ main sources of water. Petronas is owned by the Malaysian government, and is one of the three largest multinationals – along with China National Petroleum and India’s ONGC Videsh – forming part of the consortia pumping oil in South Sudan.

“Click here to download the full report in English”

تلوث المياه بمخلفات النفطية يهدد حياة السكان بالوحدة جنوب السودان

تقرير : فرانسيس مايكل قوانق

يعتبر تلوث مصادر مياه الشرب في مناطق إنتاج النفط بجمهورية جنوب السودان ، من أكبر مشاكل التي تواجة السكان المحليين ، الذين يسكنون بالقرب من المنشاءات النفطية في إقليم الوحدة وأعالى النيل ، حيث يعاني أكثر من 200 ألف شخص مشكلة الحصول على مياه شرب نقية نتيجة لتلوث المياه بالمُخلفات النفطية في جنوب السودان بمناطق الإنتاج.

وبرغم من شكاوى السكان المحليين وبعض من مسؤوليين الحكوميين ، ومطالبهم بإيجاد الحل لمشكلة تلوث البيئي في إقليم الوحدة المنتجة للنفط ، إلا أن الحكومة القومية وشركات النفط ، ظلت ساكنة دون تحرك ولم تتخذ خطوات للحد  من التلوث البيئي في المنطقة بحماية البيئة ومصادر المياه من التلوث.

Click here to download the report in Arabic

“Our lives are at stake!”

“Deadly black tide of oil contamination”: protests erupt throughout South Sudan

By Francis Michael Gwang 

“Spills from the oil wells owned by Petronas are endangering the lives of more than 50,000 residents of Tarjas,” states Lam Tongar, the minister of information for Northern Liech state. Tarjas is an oil-producing region in the state, which is located in South Sudan.

This threat to their lives stems from the oil’s having made its way into the residents’ main sources of water. Petronas is owned by the Malaysian government, and is one of the three largest multinationals – along with China National Petroleum and India’s ONGC Videsh – forming part of the consortia pumping oil in South Sudan.

Issued at the beginning of August, Tongar’s cry for help is being echoed throughout South Sudan. The existence of the oil spill and its endangering of residents have been confirmed by an official working for the country’s ministry of petroleum. He blamed the spill and contamination and the lack of clean-up and remedial actions in general on the oil-caused civil war raging in South Sudan – and on government’s failure to enforce such environmental laws as South Sudan’s Oil Act of 2012.

Click here to read the full article

On World Humanitarian Day 2018

Multinationals have to assume responsibility for crises they are perpetrating upon humanity

Call by German NGO Sign of Hope

Case in point: Petronas’ contamination of water, lives and environment in South Sudan

August 19th is World Humanitarian Day. On it, the world pays tribute to the persons and organizations who and which strive to solve the crises affecting humanity.

Many of these crises are caused by such multinationals as Petronas. This Malaysian oil giant has helped create one of the world’s most devastating environmental and human rights crises: the contamination of water and land in South Sudan. At least 600,000 people, millions of livestock and thousands of hectares of farmland and of such precious habitats as the Sudd wetlands have been negatively and dramatically affected by this contamination.

Sign of Hope has dedicated itself to helping these victims. To that end, and on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day 2018, this Germany-based NGO will step up its rehabilitation of boreholes deep enough to provide the people of South Sudan with what they so urgently need: an adequate supply of clean water.

Sign of Hope’s urgent plea on World Humanitarian Day 2018: Petronas and other multinationals have to assume responsibility for the crises they have helped create – by taking the measures so desperately needed to alleviate them.

Click here to download the full press release

 

Interview mit Klaus Stieglitz

Ölindustrie verschmutzt Umwelt im Südsudan

Schmutzige Geschäfte

Der Südsudan ist eines der ärmsten Länder der Erde – und besitzt doch etwas, um das ihn andere Nationen beneiden: Erdöl. Von den Gewinnen aus der Förderung kommt kaum etwas bei der Bevölkerung an. Seit Jahren verschmutzt die Ölindustrie im Norden des afrikanischen Landes das Trinkwasser für rund 600.000 Menschen. Im Interview spricht Klaus Stieglitz von der Hilfsorganisation Hoffnungszeichen über schmutzige Geschäfte von Weltkonzernen in einem von Krieg und Korruption zerrissenen Staat.

Vollständiger Artikel

Report on South Sudan’s environmental catastrophe

German news agency publishes a major report on South Sudan’s environmental catastrophe

DasThema: Ölgeschäfte im Südsudan

Schmutziges Öl aus dem Südsudan Was die Formel 1 und Afrikas jüngsten Staat verbindet

Von Joachim Heinz (KNA)

Bonn (KNA) Rund 20 Millionen Euro müssen die Veranstalter des “Großen Preises von Deutschland” abdrücken, um die Formel 1 nach Hockenheim zu holen. Viel Geld für die Rennstreckenbetreiber, die sich immer schwerer damit tun, das Risiko der sportlichen Großveranstaltung mit mehreren Zehntausend Zuschauern allein zu stemmen. Am Wochenende, so spekulieren Medien daher, könnten die Boliden von Mercedes, Ferrari und Co zum letzten Mal für lange Zeit in Deutschland ihre Runden drehen.

Rund 13 Millionen Menschen leben im Südsudan. Besser müsste es heißen “überleben”. Denn seit seiner Unabhängigkeit 2011 kommt der “jüngste Staat Afrikas” nicht zur Ruhe. Ständig flackern Kämpfe auf, seit 2013 befeuert durch eine Dauerfehde zwischen Präsident Salva Kiir und seinem Herausforderer Riek Machar. Rund 2,5 Millionen Menschen haben laut Welthungerhilfe inzwischen ihre Heimat verlassen, hinzu kommen 1,7 Millionen Binnenflüchtlinge. Die UN befürchten, dass ohne humanitäre Hilfe im laufenden Jahr 7,1 Millionen Menschen unter Hunger leiden werden.

Press this link to read the full report

Oil pollution in South Sudan – summons from parliament

For failure to report on oil pollution’s devastation of the country:

South Sudan’s parliament issues summons to country’s minister of petroleum and mining

By JOSEPH ODUHA

July 31, 2018

The Petroleum Committee of South Sudan’s National Legislative Assembly has issued a summons to Ezekiel Gatkuoth Lol, the country’s minister of petroleum and mining.

The summons orders Lol to appear before the committee, and to detail “the damages inflicted by oil pollution. It is this pollution that has caused more than 500,000 residents of oil-producing areas in the Upper Nile region to flee,” states James Lual, the MP heading the Committee.

Lual adds: “In March, we instructed Minister Lol to dispatch independent investigators to these oil polluted areas. They were to compile their findings within two months’ time. These, in turn, were to form the basis for the taking of remedial actions. Four months have since elapsed, and we have yet to hear anything from the minister about this investigation,” states Mr. Lual.

“So we decided to issue this summons,” concludes Mr. Lual.

As Mr. Lual reports, this issuance has been given great urgency by the outcries by the residents of the oil-producing regions, who are demanding action on the part of the South Sudanese government to protect them from “irresponsible oil companies”.

That such action is needed has been confirmed by none other than Salva Kiir, South Sudan’s president.

In a foreword to the First Environmental Report and Outlook for South Sudan, which was published in May 2018 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on behalf of the government of South Sudan, Kiir wrote that “the lack of environmental standards and guidelines to safeguard the exploration and exploitation in the extractive industry has led to pollution in the oil fields and in the surrounding areas.”

Kiir cited the environmental crisis as being particularly dire in the former Unity State. Kiir added:

“This trends needs to be checked through the formulation of environmental policies, standards and guidelines, and enforcement of these instruments,” he said.

The investigation of South Sudan’s oil pollution crisis has been spearheaded by the Germany-based Sign of Hope, an NGO that has long been active in the country. The organization’s investigation has focused on the Thar Jath oil field.

“There is a direct link between the contamination of the people and the activities of the petroleum industry working in this area,” states Klaus Stieglitz, the Deputy Chairperson of Sign of Hope.

Tired of having their cries for alleviation left unheeded, South Sudanese in oil areas have now started to issue threats to undertake “civil action” against the oil companies behind the contamination of their homelands.

These cries are finding widespread support among the country’s scientists.

Dr. James Okuk, a Juba-based oil analyst, has called upon the country’s government to declare a state of environment crisis in South Sudan’s oil-rich regions, and to follow this up with the provision of humanitarian assistance to the affected population.