Black Tide in Berlin: Songbook!

Black Tide in Berlin

30. September 20 Uhr

Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche

Black Tide Music: Sebastian Oswald Text: Terry Swartzberg / Anataban

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our lives.

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our people

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our lives.

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our people

Poisoning our land

Poisoning our water

Choking our sons

Choking our daughters

Sisters and brothers,

fathers and mothers,

Time to take a stand

against those stealing our lives,

Our lives

Chorus!

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to make it right

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to stand together and fight

the Black Tide

Oil profits in the billions

Oil victims in the millions

Oil companies polluting

Government looting

Chorus!

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to make it right

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to stand together and fight

the Black Tide

Time to get back our wealth

Time to get back our health

Time to turn back the black tide

And get back our homes and pride.

Chorus!

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to make it right

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to stand together and fight the Black Tide

What are we doing here? Jocelyn B. Smith

Solo Jocelyn

I don’t mind waiting Juanita Bynum

I don’t mind waiting

I don’t mind waiting

I don’t mind waiting for the Lord

I don’t mind waiting

I don’t mind waiting

I don’t mind waiting for the Lord

Shine A Light Jocelyn B. Smith

Sometimes I feel somethin’ gettin’ in the way
Like missing a chance to change
All the reasons for the hurt today
So if we all use our voices for a better place

It’s a fearful man that strikes with another blow
Who decides to kill love in the flowers that grow
Just one simple reason and heaven knows

We’re gonna SHINE A LIGHT for those who don’t understand
SHINE A LIGHT for those who can
We’re gonna SHINE A LIGHT it’s our greatest chance

When I forget just remind me
To SHINE A LIGHT

With all the love we have
We got so much to give
So if you can believe
Then let’s begin to live
It’s a choice for the taking
It’s the reason that is

We’re gonna SHINE A LIGHT for those who don’t understand
SHINE A LIGHT for those who can
We’re gonna SHINE A LIGHT it’s our greatest chance

When I forget just remind me
To SHINE A LIGHT

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfnwugPvRu4

Black Tide Music: Sebastian Oswald Text: Terry Swartzberg / Anataban

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our lives.

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our people

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our lives.

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our people

Poisoning our land

Poisoning our water

Choking our sons

Choking our daughters

Sisters and brothers,

fathers and mothers,

Time to take a stand

against those stealing our lives,

Our lives

Chorus!

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to make it right

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to stand together and fight

the Black Tide

Oil profits in the billions

Oil victims in the millions

Oil companies polluting

Government looting

Chorus!

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to make it right

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to stand together and fight

the Black Tide

Time to get back our wealth

Time to get back our health

Time to turn back the black tide

And get back our homes and pride.

Chorus!

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to make it right

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to stand together and fight the Black Tide

Joseph Oduha escapes kidnappers

Joseph Oduha, one of South Sudan’s most respecter journalists (forsouthsudan.com, the East African and other media and platforms, was kidnapped on September 14th in Kampala. After several hours in the clutches of his abductor, Joseph managed to escape – but not before suffering at their hands.

“I will not be intimidated, but will continue to report fairly and objectively on politics and business in South Sudan,” states Joseph.

received_3131491390256611

Asian petroleum companies: imperiling survival of South Sudan’s communities

By Kor Chop Leek

Summary: For two decades, and with the acquiescence of the government of South Sudan, Petronas of Malaysia, China National Petroleum and ONGC Videsh of India have been spewing poisons into South Sudan’s ecosystems – with corresponding and devastating results to communities and their residents’ lives. Defying the polluters’ military and financial power, officials in oil producing areas have been joining together to launch vociferous protests. 

Oil exploration and production was launched in the late 1990s in South Sudan. Ever since, the consortia undertaking these activities – in several of which Petronas, China National Petroleum and ONGC Videsh of India have been or are shareholders – have failed to adhere to internationally-practiced environmental standards. The result: a widespread pollution of the environment. 

The passing and promulgation in 2012 of South Sudan’s Petroleum Act caused no change in these practices. Quite the contrary. Asian oil giants have since then committed further unspeakable human rights violations. 

These violations were the subject of South Sudan’s National Dialogue Conference, which was held in May 2019 in Juba.

At it, Mabek Lang Bilkui, the deputy governor of Ruweng state, stated, “Oil companies operating in our state pose a threat to the health of the communities. The companies have devastated the environment and exhausted its reserves. Our state was part of the first oil producing region in South Sudan. Now, rather than oil, the state produces deformed babies. Children are born without ears, eyes. We never get any response when we raise this issue.  Our farmland is poisoned. Cattle are dying.” 

As Mabek Lang Bilkui explained: “Our communities were promised a share of oil revenues. This never happened. Oil companies promised to compensate farmers and other land owners for the taking of their land. This never happened.  Ruweng State produces 35,000 barrels a day of oil. Where has this money been going? Our state remains undeveloped.”

The same story prevails throughout the entire oil-rich greater Upper Nile region. Women report an epidemic of stillbirths, infertility, malformed infants.

Manasa Magok Rundial, the former speaker of South Sudan’s parliament, has also become a strong critic of the oil companies. As he pointed out in a recent radio broadcast: “People are dying from hitherto unknown ailments. Women are giving birth to babies showing multiple and horrific deformities. This has to stop.” 

At international conferences, the government of South Sudan itself has admitted the existence of the “tragedy” and “disaster” of oil pollution in the country. The government’s reluctance to change this situation has caused a group of attorneys in South Sudan to consider suing it in international courts.

Decades of protests and fact-finding have failed to change the situation. Given that, the author of this article strongly questions the integrity and credibility of the oil companies and of the government of South Sudan.

The author wishes to pose these questions to the government and oil companies: is this the country that you wish us to have? A country in which its residents drink poisoned water and subsist – if at all – on poisoned land. A country of deformed children – and thus of a deformed future.

I am now repeating my call to the government of South Sudan to the oil companies operating in the country to take the urgent measures to turn back this “black tide” of oil pollution.

The author is a South Sudanese concern citizen, and is reachable at korpuoch@gmail.com


“Rising at an alarming rate”

South Sudan: oil state minister slams companies over pollution’s devastation of women’s and infant health 

by John Adukata 

“Women are being rendered barren, or are miscarrying or dying during birth. Babies are being born deformed. And the number of these horrible incidents is rising at an alarming rate,” states Abraham Ngor, minister of information for South Sudan’s oil-rich Ruweng state.  

According to the minister, two of the children born this month lacked all limbs.

The cause: the sources of water in the area of these infants’ birth have been polluted by oil spillages. 

Ngor released the following figures: between 2015 and 2019, 267 miscarriages were registered in the state. Between 2017 and 2019, 10 children were born deformed, while 12 women died during labor.

As he and others pointed out, these figures cover merely the incidents registered. Many families don’t bother to report such cases – too much trouble, no results expected, dangerous to do so.  

The oil companies reportedly responsible for this widespread contamination include China Petroleum National Company (CNPC) and Malaysia’s Petronas.  

Infant deformities due to oil pollution in South Sudan

Birth defects, miscarriage, death during delivery prevalent around oil field areas in S Sudan, say officials

South Sudanese citizens in oil producing areas are worried about the pollution causing infant deformities, miscarriage, and death during delivery as well as death of their livestock.

Abraham Ngor, the Information Minister in Ruweng state –one of the affected areas by oil pollution in South Sudan– said that oil boosts the country’s economy, but it has a bad impact on the citizens living around oil fields.

“Now in Ruweng state there are many cases of deformities, miscarriage, death during delivery on daily basis, having a serious negative impact on people, especially on reproduction rates,” Ngor told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.

He said that that the drinking water is also sometimes polluted by oil, and there are two cases of birth defects since the beginning of August alone adding that they were born with no limbs, toes, hands and vision due to the effects of oil pollution.

Those children born deformed are now under treatment by oil companies and the government, Ngor said.

He said that since 2017 they have recorded 267 miscarriage cases, whereas the number of babies born deformed or with disabilities is 10 and the number of death during labor is 12.

These figures do not include those who live in remote areas with no hospitals and roads to connect them with state headquarters, he added.

Susana, one of the mothers who live in one of the oil producing areas in former Unity state, told Anadolu Agency over the phone that there are high rates of abortion due to miscarriage as well as deformation, abnormality diseases and blindness in newborns.

She called upon the government to bring up the policy that will protect them against such cases.

Communities in those areas have never received any of the benefits, although it was indicated that oil producing areas will be provided 2% of oil revenues, she added.

Another mother Sunday, 27, said that she has had miscarriage twice and the doctor told her that the cause might be environmental pollution as they live near oil fields.

The Petroleum Revenue Management Act of 2013, approved by the state legislative assembly, stipulates that the oil-producing states will receive 2% from the net petroleum revenue to be allocated for state development programs.

Mary Ayen Majok, a member of parliament representing the area, said that such cases are prevalent but the local people do not report them to the authorities.

When such babies are born, the community members just bury them because they are very frightened, she said.

“A child was brought here to Juba and I saw it myself, it was a baby boy. He had a right foot but with a very short leg and the stomach was swollen showing that he was not a normal newborn,” said Majok.

A group of South Sudan lawyers said that if oil companies don’t take the responsibility to protect the environment and the community, and ensure that the standard environmental practice is safeguarded, then they will drag them to court.

Philip Anyang, secretary-general for Center for Human Rights Lawyers, said that oil drilling in those areas is a big concern when the interest of the community is considered.

South Sudan’s Petroleum Minister Awou Daniel Chuang said that they are going to address this issue of environmental damage caused by oil pollution.

He admitted that there is environmental pollution in areas of oil industry.

“We are now gearing up our efforts to make sure we conduct environmental audit to quantify the damages on environment. It’s very important to do the analysis, which will exactly tell the extent of the damage within the oil fields so that we recommend the necessary measures and control,” he said.

The oil operation needs to be guided based on the results of the environmental audit following this study, he added.

He also said that they have taken one child to Nairobi for medical examination.

According to the Petroleum Act of 2012, oil production activities should be done in a way that ensures a high level of health and safety.

According to Petroleum Ministry, South Sudan produces 175,000 barrels of oil per day.

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

https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/infant-deformities-due-to-oil-pollution-in-south-sudan-3499100

“Zero tolerance of pollution” – South Sudan’s president issues stern warning to oil companies

by Joseph Oduha | August 23, 2019

In a first for him, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has roundly criticized the oil companies operating in the country. The object of his criticism: their pollution of the land and water in and around South Sudan’s oil fields. 

As reported in a statement posted by the President Press Unit, President Kiir vowed not to tolerate what he termed “bad business in the oil sector”. 

“I will not tolerate irresponsible activities in oil sector in South Sudan,” he is quoted as having said. 

The warning was issued at a meeting held on August 21, 2019 at the government’s State House in Juba. The meeting was attended by President Kiir and by representatives of the Sahara Energy group.

Tope Shonubi, the CEO of the Sahara Energy Group, confirmed that Kiir had emphasized at the meeting the government’s new policy of zero tolerance of oil pollution. 

The pollution in the oil producing states in South Sudan has displaced more than half a million people and put some 600,000 more at risk of death due to contamination of water sources. 

A large and growing number of organizations have repeatedly urged the government of South Sudan to take immediate and effective action to curb the pollution spewing from oil companies’ operations.

“Will be compelled to drag oil companies to court” – South Sudanese human rights lawyers issue ultimatum on cleaning up pollution

John Adukata | Augst 23, 2019

South Sudan’s highly influential and respected Center for Human Rights Lawyers has issued an ultimation to the country’s oil companies: ‘clean up your act or face us taking you to court’.

In the words of Philip Anyand, the Center’s secretary-general: “Should the oil companies not start taking responsibility to protect the environment and the interests of the communities in whose areas they operate, and should they continue to fail to ensure that standard environmental practices are performed, we will be compelled to drag them to court,” he said.

As Mr. Ayand noted, the basis of this suit would South Sudan’s Petroleum Act. Promulgated in 2012, the Act stipulates that the production of oil is to be carried out in ways ensuring the maintenance of high levels of personal and environmental health and safety.

The Act further requires that these practices be further developed on ongoing bases, so as to incorporate the latest and best technological advances and standards.

The oil companies’ disregard of the Act’s stipulations has unleashed a “black tide” of oil pollution, according to a large number of citizens’ action groups.This black tide has damaged the health and homes of some 600,000 South Sudanese, and caused a further half a million to be rendered homeless.

Black Tide’ – a song for 100 countries

Black tide of oil pollution: poisoning 100 countries

August 20, 2010

One hundred countries have experienced over the past fifty years major oil spills and leaks, details a report compiled by Swartzberg GmbH and drawing upon country studies presented by ITOPF (for water-occurring spills) and on proprietary research (for land-based spills and leakages).

“The next challenge is to compile a tally of the number of the victims of this “black tide” of oil poisoning,” states Terry Swartzberg, the ethical campaigner who is Swartzberg GmbH’s principal. “In Nigeria alone, they number in the millions.”

To rouse the world’s attention to this huge problem – one necessitating the world’s relinquishing of climate-killing fossil fuels – “Black Tide” – the song composed for the victims of oil pollution – will be sung by an unprecedentedly large assemblage of choirs and singers. Venue is Berlin’s historic Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche. Date and time: September 30th at 8 pm.

To sing at Black Tide:

blacktideberlin@hoffnungszeichen.de

Terry Swartzberg: (+49-170) 473 35 72

For further information: forsouthsudan.com/blacktide

South Sudanese journalists join to speak out against oil pollution

By Joseph Oduha |  August 20, 2019

South Sudanese journalists have joined the call for the government to end the pollution plaguing the country’s oil producing regions. 

Among these journalists: Atem Simon. Also a political analyst and media expert, Atem Simon stresses the need to take immediate, easily implementable measures.

“We are talking about saving the lives of the people living in and around the oil fields. And the communities in which these people live have to confront the government head on to get these measures enacted, instead of accepting being bought off by compensation,” he states.

Among the measures so desperately needed: a country-wide supply of clean water, of medical treatment, and of housing – to replace the dwellings ravaged by marauding militias.

Peter Gai Monyoun, an exiled journalist, joins Atem Simon in seeing government indifference and negligence as being the root of the problem.

Peter states: “Over and over again, it has been made perfectly apparent that the government of South Sudan doesn’t care about the lives and livelihoods of its citizens. What the government does care about is getting rich,” Peter notes. 

“I am dismayed at the lack of progress towards an effective management of oil production and of the wastes and spills that it has been causing,” states Juma Peter Maya, another journalist.

“We have been hearing for years about the effects of consumption of water poisoned by oil wastes. We have repeatedly heard about and seen its effects, which include birth defects. We know the immediate cause – the failure to properly dispose of the chemicals used by the oil companies – and we know the underlying problem: the unwillingness of the government of South Sudan and of the oil companies to take the actions required,” maintains Juma Peter Maya.

The journalists’ criticisms have been confirmed by the government of South Sudan, which has admitted that more than 500,000 residents have been displaced from their homes in the oil-rich Upper Nile region – and that more than 600,000 of them suffer under the effects of the poisoning of their water and land. 

The journalists thus join a growing movement for clean water in South Sudan. The movement is also comprised of the human rights groups that are planning to sue the government for its failure to put an end to oil pollution. The suit is to be lodged in the East African Court of Justice.