South Sudan woos investors to invest in the oil industry’s environment and community protection

By Joseph Oduha | August 3, 2019

South Sudan authorities have announced a campaign to boost foreign investment in the oil industry’s environmental protection systems, with this especially applying to those taken to reverse the contamination of local communities’ water and land.

This campaign is being impelled by the government’s awareness of the prevalence of environmental pollution in the oil regions, and of the local populace’s outcry about it, reports Agow Daniel, South Sudan’s minister of petroleum. 

“We hear what the people are saying about the environment. We are going to enact a comprehensive environmental policy that is capable of safeguarding the environment.”

The policy will be implemented via service providers who will bid for an international tender to do such. 
The minister added that the tender was in line with the ministry’s policy to promote transparency in the oil sector.

Agow Daniel adds: “One key part of our campaign is learning from companies and countries that have a track record on environmental and community protection that is better than South Sudan’s.”

The minister’s statements followed his government’s confirmation that more than half a million people have been displaced by the pollution while another 600,000 are at risk of death.

Activists slammed Juba for not taking remedial action against the oil companies who caused the pollution.

Those in the list include Malaysia’s Petronas and China National Petroleum Company (CNPC).

Urgent appeal from South Sudan Law Society: use oil proceeds wisely – and reverse devastating effects of oil pollution

Reprinted from eye radio:

Use oil proceeds wisely

The South Sudan Law Society is urging the political leaders to use the oil proceeds wisely, adding that production will not last forever.

According to the ministry of petroleum, South Sudan produces 175,000 barrels per day.

At the current oil prices, the government gets 5.5 million dollars per day or more than 165 million dollars per month.

However, human rights watchdogs such as Transparency International Global Witness say only the few are benefiting from the oil production.

They say oil is used to fuel the conflict as the political leaders stash millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts – living the common man with nothing.

“We need to prepare and diversify, change the oil resources to sustainable peace in the country. The oil-producing states must be the number one seen to be states which can acquire better development using oil resources,” said Justice Ajonye Perpetua, the deputy president of the South Sudan Law Society.

Besides, they say there is no development on the ground; no road networks, electricity and piped water despite laws that require the government to ensure that the people, especially those in oil producing states benefit from oil.

A recent report by a German-based charity organization – Sign of Hope – shows that oil companies have polluted the water of 600,000 people in areas around the oilfields.

“We need to save for future generations. After about 36 or more years, the oil-producing states will be the most dilapidated states, which people will not stay in,” she suggested.

“We are crying out!”

The people of South Sudan’s Unity region redouble calls for a full-scale investigation of oil pollution’s devastating impact upon their health

By Francis Michael Gwan | We Are Witness

July 24,2019

A recently-born baby may hold the key to getting the people of South Sudan’s oil-producing regions what they want most: relief from the devastating effects of oil pollution – through the provision of clean water, medical treatment, compensation for losses suffered, and remediation of their homes and lands.

The baby has one leg and hands with six fingers. As reported in Radio Tamazuj, the baby was brought by South Sudan’s ministries of health and of petroleum to Nairobi for testing in a hospital and its laboratory. The purpose: to find out what has caused these and many other horrible deformities.

Should in fact the medical experts conducting the tests determine that oil pollution is the cause of these deformities, this would constitute a key confirmation of what the region’s people have long been claiming – and officials at the ministries have been reporting.

Speaking to on the conditions of anonymity, one of these officials stated that there is probably a high frequency of such births of malformed children in the Unity region. He added that this fact has met with little interest on the part of the authorities in charge of oil production. The authorities have refrained from pursuing the systemic check-up of the peoples’ health needed to quantify and qualify the extent of damage done by oil pollution.

Testimony from Paulino Nyok, resident of the oil-producing region of Ruweng

Paulino Nyok states that there were no births of deformed children in the region prior to the discovery of oil. Paulino is convinced that these births – and many other health problems (see below) are the direct result of the depositing of oil wastes in the environment by oil companies. These poisons have become entrenched in the region’s groundwater and on its land, from which strong winds convey them throughout the country and region.

Other widespread problems: miscarriages and stillbirths, skin allergies, and infertility. These are joined, according to Paulino, by the mass dying of livestock and other destructions of livelihoods.

Paulino and other residents of the region have called upon the government of South Sudan to equip local medical centers with the equipment needed by the medical centers to investigate and treat resident ailments.