Selection of articles and videos

South Sudan’s oil pollution crisis: twelve months of intensive coverage and intense concern


December 2018

We Are Witness

Questions on oil pollution

Date: December 1, 2018

We Are Witness

Pushing oil companies to provide compensation

We Are Witness

South Sudanese student’s powerful article on oil pollution

December 4, 2018


November 2018

Deutsche Welle

Contaminated drinking water in South Sudan – no solution in sight

Date: November 14, 2018

Deutsche Welle

Verseuchtes Trinkwasser im Süd Sudan: Keine Hilfe in Sicht

Date: November 07, 2018

Eye Radio

Oil production at Unity’s Block 5 hugely curtailed due to acidity

Date: November 23, 2018

We Are Witness

Radio Tamazuj’s major report on oil contamination

Date: November 8, 2018

Daily Nation

Thousands of South Sudanese to be relocated create room for oil extraction

Date: November 13, 2018

We Are Witness

Oil relocates thousands away from home – South Sudan

Date: November 16, 2018

Eye Radio

Eye Radio’s Joakino gives first hand account of oil pollution effects in producing areas

Date: November 20, 2018

Al Jazeera

Restarting oil wells in South Sudan has uncertain health effects

Date: November 23, 2018

Al Jazeera

Restarting oil wells in South Sudan has uncertain health effects | Al Jazeera English

Date: November 23, 2018


October 2018

Bentiu Daily TV

Oil pollution ‘a catastrophe’ in South Sudan – NGO Report

Date: October 24, 2018

International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications

The Environmental and Social Impacts of Oil Exploration and Production on Melut Basin of South Sudan

Date: October 10, 2018

Via News

Interrogation of Lundin Execs for Crimes against Humanity and Environment in South Sudan

Date: October 20, 2018


September 2018

Radio Tamazuj

Ruweng authorities concerned about oil pollution, as oil production resumes

Date: September 6, 2018

Via News

Why Oil Pollution in South Sudan isn’t Getting Enough Coverage, According to the Victims

Date: September 21, 2018–coverage-victims/

Gurtong Trust

Negative Impacts Of Oil Exploration Still A Concern In Oil Producing States In South Sudan

Date: September 12, 2018


August 2018

Via News

South Sudan Oil Pollution: Parliament Issues Summons to Country’s Minister of Petroleum and Mining

Date: August 3, 2018


July 2018

The East African

Concern over oil pollution in South Sudan

Date: July 3, 2018

Via News

South Sudan Oil Contamination: “Among the Highest in the World,” Study Finds

Date: July 7, 2018

Via News

South Sudan Government Confirms Widespread Oil-caused Environmental Catastrophe

Date: July 12, 2018

Via News

Rising Health Risks in South Sudan: Toxic Contamination

Date: July 9, 20118

Via News

Briefing on Big Oil’s Contamination of South Sudan

Date: July 23, 2018


Ölindustrie verschmutzt Umwelt im Südsudan

Date: July 23, 2018


June 2018

Via News

German NGO’s struggle for clean water in South Sudan

Date: June 9, 2018


May 2018

Via News

Oil-mudslides flooding South Sudan

Date: May 28, 2018


April 2018

Deutsche Welle

600,000 people in South Sudan said to be at risk from contaminated drinking water

Date: April 18, 2018

We Are Witness

South Sudan Environmental Oil Contamination

Date: April 18, 2018


March 2018

Energy World

South Sudan accuses oil group of pollution, threatens shutdown

Date: March 1, 2018


February 2018

Eye Radio

Paring reports increasing oil pollution effects

Date: February 15, 2018


South Sudan accuses oil group of pollution, threatens shutdown

Date: February 28, 2018

Radio Tamazuj

Parliament summons ministers, governor over toxic chemicals in Upper Nile

Date: February 22, 2018


December 2017

Environment News

South Sudan to UNEA-3: Help us end oil pollution of water

Date: December 6, 2017

Sudan Tribune

South Sudan appeals to UN body over oil-polluted water

Date: December 7, 2017

El Pais

El medioambiente como arma de guerra

Date: December 28, 2017

We Are Witness

South Sudan pledges to put an end to oil pollution

Environmental Justice Atlas

Oil contamination in Thar Jath, South Sudan

Turning into an “ecological wasteland”

Oil pollution – turning South Sudan into an “ecological wasteland” – scientific study issued by UN environmental institute and Chinese university

Published in October, 2018, “The Environmental and Social Impacts of Oil Exploration and Production on Melut Basin of South Sudan” was written by Emmanuel Ladu Legge Loro of the UN Environment – Tongji Institute of Environmental and Sustainable Development at Tongji University, Shanghai, P.R. China, and by Lu Zhibo, Loro’s supervising professor.

Drawing upon the research commissioned and conducted by Germany’s Sign of Hope, the paper made the following key points:

Oil pollution, spills and leaks have turned much of South Sudan into an “ecological wasteland”.

The levels of pollution on South Sudan’s land and in its water are “alarming” – as are the losses of biodiversity and soil fertility.

The result: today’s and future generations are being and will be denied their right to food.

Thanks to oil pollution, spills and leaks, such rivers as the Nile and such wetlands as the Sudd are seriously contaminated. This contamination is throttling their habitats.

Commencement of oil production has repeatedly been accompanied by the massive expulsion of local residents. This flight has been exacerbated by the destruction of livelihoods in local communities.

The result: South Sudan is awash in “environmental refugees” – most of them women caring for their children – who have been compelled to or forced to flee their homes. Prime destination of these refugees: the burgeoning slums of Juba and other cities in South Sudan.

Inefficient, unmonitored oil production processes have yielded industry-high amounts of produced water – which is generally not properly processed.

Oil spills and gas flares have led to the extinction of valuable and holy species of plants.

Greed and corruption ensuing from oil production have wrecked local societies.

And the true facts of South Sudan’s oil-caused environmental disaster have yet to emerge. Monitoring of oil operations’ meeting of environmental standards is sketchy at best – due to a corruption-fuelled civil war, a lack of interest on the part of government officials and of consortia, and to the widespread abandonment of rigs.

Powerful article on oil pollution in South Sudan

Written by Kor Chop Leek, a concerned South Sudanese student

The author is a concerned South Sudanese who is currently getting his masters in humanitarian and conflict studies at the University of Juba.

His key points:

Thanks to the scientific investigations conducted by Sign of Hope, the German-based NGO, the world has known about the contamination of South Sudan’s water by wastes and leaks from oil production – and has known it is producing stillborn and deformed babies, among many other negative effects.

The main perpetrator is Petronas, the Malaysian oil giant.

Twelve years of official and media reports on this environmental and human rights scandal – and outcries by local residents and the officials representing them – have yet to yield the remedial measures so urgently required and demanded by the South Sudanese affected.

Click here to read the full article 

Pushing oil companies to provide compensation

Parliament of South Sudan presses oil companies to compensate pollution victims

By Joseph Oduha

South Sudan’s National Legislative Assembly is pushing oil companies to provide compensation to the victims of their contamination of the country’s water.

One of the leaders in the campaign for such compensation is James Lual, the head of the Assembly’s Petroleum and Mining Committee.

Lual substantiates his call for the payment of such compensation by stating that the health and livelihoods of the people living in and around the Upper Nile’s oil fields are being severely and negatively affected by the pollution of the region’s water sources and the entire environment.

Lual: “Compensation is a must!”

He adds that a law requiring oil companies to pay such – with this to comprise communities affected – is now under consideration by the Assembly.

“This law expresses the “polluter pays” principle, which is accepted and enforced throughout much of the world,” Lual states.

“This law will avail itself of the findings of an investigation. It is to go to the areas that have been contaminated by oil exploration and production. Fulfilling the resolution passed by the Assembly, this research is to be carried out by an authoritative scientific body. It, in turn, will then report back to us,” Lual notes.

“Should the body in fact turn up negative effects on people and livestock, we will definitely take the appropriate actions to put an end to them.”

Lual states that his committee plans to meet with South Sudan’s ministry of petroleum and mining and with Nilepet (the oil company owned by the South Sudanese government) to discuss oil pollution.

To prepare himself for these discussions and further legislative action, Lual went early this week on a fact-finding mission to the Palouch and Jum al Adar oil fields. The mission brought him in touch with local residents.

“I saw with my own eyes chemical wastes that have the capability to seriously harm people. I encountered water containing materials that are dangerous to both people and animals. I saw trees dying from having

been exposed to such water,” Lual announces.

He witnessed tanker trucks carrying water for the local residents. Two problems with that, according to Mr. Lual. The quantity of water provided was not enough. And the water supplied wasn’t clean.

Mr. Lual’s findings are leading him to call for the relocation of residents from the oil fields in northern South Sudan to a new site, to be situated near the Nile.

“In view of the extent and persistence of the contamination of sources of water, the best option is to relocate the residents to villages offering residents clean water and other necessities,” he concludes.

This contamination has joined civil war in forcing more than a half a million people to flee the region, stated the government of South Sudan in April.

When called upon to express his views on the situation, Ezekiel Gatkuoth Lol, South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum and Mining, declined to respond.

“The payment by oil companies of compensation to victims of their pollution is standard practice around the world. This is because the victims have a basic right to such, provided that this contamination has been proven,” states Dr. James Okuk, a professor of political sciences at South Sudan’s University of Juba.

Okuk says a refusal by oil companies to supply this compensation entitles the victims to sue them. “This is the law,” Okuk concludes.