“We will put an end to oil pollution”

– vow from South Sudan’s new oil minister

by Joseph Oduha | We Are Witness

“We plan to work aggressively to mitigate the degradation of the environment ensuing from oil pollution. We hear our peoples’ please about this.”

The words are from Awow Daniel Chuang, who was recently appointed South Sudan’s minister of petroleum and mining.  Mr. Chuang replaced Ezekiel Gatkuoth Lol, who had been widely criticized for his failure to take actions against the oil companies’ widespread poisoning of the country’s water and land.

This pollution is especially pronounced in South Sudan’s north, which is home to its major oil fields.

Prime perpetrators are Petronas of Malaysia, China National Petroleum and India’s ONGC.

The South Sudanese government’s reluctance to enforce its environmental rules was one of the factors that led the government of the United States to slap sanctions on the oil companies operating in the country, as this was seen by the US as constituting a failure to provide the people living in and around the oil fields with basic services.

In addition to stiffening the protection of the environment, the new minister of petroleum made other far reaching promises – to foster transparency of accounting of oil output, sales and revenues.

Oil pollution alert from South Sudan’s environment minister

On World Environment day 2019: Searing criticisms of government and oil companies

by Francis Michael Gwang, We Are Witness
June 5, 2019

Oil pollution is widespread in South Sudan. The country’s government is well aware of it, and of the extensive damaging of health resulting from it. Despite this, the government has failed to take action to put a stop to it.’

That is the gist of the remarks made by Josephine Nafon, South Sudan’s minister of the environment and tourism. Her criticisms were voiced at ceremony held in Juba to mark World Environment Day 2019.

“Oil contaminants have caused a suffering of the health of a large number of the people living near oil wells,” reports the minister. She views the ultimate cause of this suffering to be the reluctance on the part of the government of South Sudan to take effective action.

This reluctance manifests itself in the government’s unwillingness to implement and enforce the commendable environmental and human protection laws that it had enacted. It also reveals itself in the government’s failure to conduct studies capable of revealing the extent of this damaging.

“We in the government are in fact well aware of the damaging of the environment taking place in oil production areas. And yet, notwithstanding this, we still refuse to effectively implement the laws,” states the minister.

The pollution stems from the oil companies operating in South Sudan. As the minister states, their only goal is to maximize profits. They do not care about the environment or about the health of the people living in and around the production areas.

In a key point, the minister pointed out that the prime victims of this callous pursuit of earnings are women and children. She cited the pollution-caused emergence of unknown diseases, the birth of deformed offspring and the prevalence of stillbirths.

Minister Nafon appealed to her government and to the companies to allocate the funds necessary to clean up the environment and to help the many victims.

She also revealed that her ministry had formulated a plan to stiffen the laws governing the production and transportation of oil – and to thus finally achieve an effective protection of the environment.


On World Environment day 2019: Oil pollution alert from South Sudan environment minister

Searing criticisms of government and oil companies

by Francis Michael Gwang, We Are Witness

June 5, 2019

‘Oil pollution is widespread in South Sudan. The country’s government is well aware of it, and of the extensive damaging of health resulting from it. Despite this, the government has failed to take action to put a stop to it.’

That is the gist of the remarks made by Josephine Nafon, South Sudan’s minister of the environment and tourism. Her criticisms were voiced at ceremony held in Juba to mark World Environment Day 2019.

“Oil contaminants have caused a suffering of the health of a large number of the people living near oil wells,” reports the minister. She views the ultimate cause of this suffering to be the reluctance on the part of the government of South Sudan to take effective action.

This reluctance manifests itself in the government’s unwillingness to implement and enforce the commendable environmental and human protection laws that it had enacted. It also reveals itself in the government’s failure to conduct studies capable of revealing the extent of this damaging.

“We in the government are in fact well aware of the damaging of the environment taking place in oil production areas. And yet, notwithstanding this, we still refuse to effectively implement the laws,” states the minister.

The pollution stems from the oil companies operating in South Sudan. As the minister states, their only goal is to maximize profits. They do not care about the environment or about the health of the people living in and around the production areas.

In a key point, the minister pointed out that the prime victims of this callous pursuit of earnings are women and children. She cited the pollution-caused emergence of unknown diseases, the birth of deformed offspring and the prevalence of stillbirths.

Minister Nafon appealed to her government and to the companies to allocate the funds necessary to clean up the environment and to help the many victims.

She also revealed that her ministry had formulated a plan to stiffen the laws governing the production and transportation of oil – and to thus finally achieve an effective protection of the environment.

Kor Chop Leek’s urgent pleas to the government of South Sudan

When we neglect our environment, we neglect our health, when we neglect our health, we violate our rights to live healthily and safely. As such our right to live longer is shortened.

I’m not an environmentalist nor an environmental activist, but I’m a concerned citizen of this country who believe that, when environment is properly protected from pollution being from oil, smoke, wastes, and toxic chemicals, or and other health hazards that can contaminate our environment or jeopardized our health, then our health is well taken care of and our right to live longer on this planet earth is secured.

Kor Chop Leek is a paramedic and a graduate student in Juba.

Rwanda recently was announced as the first cleanest country in Africa and the second in the whole world in term of environmental safety standard. I congratulate Rwandan people for that enormous credit.

My posts of recent is much dominated by environmental issues, and mainly from oil pollution that is engulfing oil rich Greater Upper Nile region. I wish I’m an environmentalist.

South Sudan as an oil producing region attracted number of oil companies to invest her rich oil reserves estimated to be 6 billions barrels with Tharjath alone is estimated to have reserves of 149.1 millions barrels (read Oil, Power, and A Sign of Hope) .

Experts predicted that, the oil extraction shall be exhausted by 2035 if carefully drilled.

Oil is not a good friend to environment as you can see the below posted photos if not taken care of well. It pollution contaminate water, soil, air, and cause deforestation. Beside that, its pollution kills humans, animals, and other living creatures and cussed long life health risks hazards hardly to reverse.

I’m calling on the followings concerned institutions in the country to bring the matter into appropriate attention.

1. The Presidency 
2. National Ministry of Petroleum.
3. National Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
4. National Ministry of Humanitarian and Disaster Management.
5. All oil companies in the country 
6. Any other related institutions I have not mention.

I’m optimistic that if laws governing oil operations are correctly and strictly applied particularly the national and International environmental laws. This will definitely grantee our environmental safety free from oil contamination.

Save South Sudan environment!

“Oil pollution is destroying us” – eyewitnesses reports

Residents in Ruweng state demand services from oil companies

Author: Garang Abraham 

“Oil pollution is destroying us” – eyewitnesses reports to South Sudan’s Eye Radio

Residents of Ruweng state say oil companies operating in the state are not providing them services as required by law and that there is massive pollution in the area.

Last week, the government resumed oil production at Tor oilfield in the state.
The production had come to a halt after the outbreak of violence in 2013.
The area with about 16 wells is expected to produce between 5,000 to 45,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

However, some residents who spoke to Eye Radio say they are disappointed with the government because they were promised years ago that schools, hospitals and clean and safe water points would be built but this did not happen.

Journalist Joakino’s exposé on oil pollution in S.Sudan [Eye Radio Photo]

This, they say, has conditioned them to continue drinking contaminated water from polluted water points, resulting in adverse effects on the local people:

“This issues of infertility, is not affecting women alone. What am saying is that women are complaining of infertility but am sure that even men are infertile. It’s only that our cultures makes men fear from expressing their grievances or complains.”

“It was said by Angel Achol three years ago that, that water next to the road side is not safe for drinking, then we asked him why, his reply was that the water can kill people because it has not been treated.”

Am angry because that oil waste and water which is coming from oil production is the one destroying our citizens in the oil fields. I witnessed that in Paloch and is not the first time for me to participate in the petroleum committee. In 2001, I was a member of the national parliament in Sudan , when the oil pipeline reached to the area of Geri that was a desert, the area changed and the citizens were happy because there were hospitals, water and power.”

According to the transitional constitution, two percent of the oil revenue is supposed to be given back to the locals as compensation, and then relocated to an area far from the production.

However, researchers say more than 180, 0000 South Sudanese living near the oil fields use contaminated water which is dangerous for people’s health, livestock and the environment.

Human suffering through inhumane greed

A reporter’s searching look at a major and growing crisis
Pollution in South Sudan: human suffering through inhumane greed

by Joseph Oduha 
May 27, 2019

In 2018, I started reporting on oil pollution in South Sudan. I quickly learned that this entailed quite a bit more than merely gathering facts and comments, that it meant – quite literally – getting acquainted with the smells, sights and feel of poisoned water and land – and experiencing first-hand the suffering that it causes.
My year and a half of reporting have yielded a number of articles – and a growing number of burning questions.

Such as:
How could the government and its agencies bear to stand by and let the people living in and around the country’s oil fields die upon their watch?Even worse, how could the people staffing these authorities reconcile their concealing this fact by telling lies about it with their consciences?

During my months of reporting, I have in fact gotten to know civil servants in South Sudan who are conscientiously trying to protect the country’s people and environment. But their – often heroic – efforts have yet to make a dent in the crises ensuing from the immoral practices being perpetrated by such oil companies as Petronas of Malaysia and China National Petroleum.

The net result of their failure: the exploration for and pumping of oil have given rise to one of South Sudan’s worst environmental disasters. An authoritative survey completed more than year ago pegged the number of the victims of their consumption of poisoned water at 600,000. This figure has no doubt strongly risen over the past year +.

The results of this consumption of poisons – and specifically of lead include – as detailed in cries for help stemming from these region – the large numbers of women giving birth to stillborn and horribly deformed babies and the widespread outbreaks of new and grave ailments; and the like.

These results join with other unconscionable effects in making the perpetrators of this environmental disaster – notably Petronas of Malaysia and China National Petroleum – legally liable for the crimes that they have committed against the people living in the Bentiu and Tharjath areas.

The government of South Sudan is well aware of these crimes – as shown by its repeated promises to take remedial actions. The government’s failure to do such manifests a fact about it: the government simply does not care about its people.

A number of experts have advanced proposals as to the configuration and implementation of these remedial actions. These proposals foresee the provision of medical treatment to and compensation for the victims of oil pollution. This is to be accompanied by the supplying of such basic services as education and clean water.

The government’s failure to take these actions is obviously motivated by its prime concern – staying in power by employing the revenues from oil to finance the militias and other forces enabling it to keep its grip on power. Another use by this small, corrupt elite of revenues: the purchasing of luxury items abroad.

This drive to maximize revenues has caused it to accede the oil companies’ failure to adhere to environmental standards.
This need to maintain power has resulted in years of wars and forced migration. To date, some 400,000 people have been killed in South Sudan. Millions have survived only by fleeing their homes and the country.

And these mutually-compounding crises of war, pollution and corruption, and the suffering are only going to get worse.
Over the last few months, the government of South Sudan has announced – and is implementing plans to greatly expand oil production.