Sign of Hope‘s struggle for clean water in South Sudan:

In-depth report from key association of NGOs “Brave David’s long fight for the most basic of human needs and rights” Hero of the Environment Nnimmo Bassey Just out: an important report. Important because it covers – in-depth – a key subject: how NGOs – the brave Davids of this world – fare when they confront multinationals – today’s Goliaths. Important because it is from VENRO, whose size – 120 Germany-based NGOs – and their missions – providing humanitarian and development assistance around the world – makes it a leading advocate of and reporter on best practices in these key fields.

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South Sudan’s Sosywood

Coming soon to a screen near you? Young film-makers hope to draw attention to social problems like gang violence and child marriage with their movies By Inna Lazareva JUBA, June 6 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – At the entrance to a wooden shack in a quiet neighbourhood of South Sudan’s capital, Juba, a young man in ripped jeans and sunglasses stands gripping a golden pistol, his finger hovering over the trigger. “And action!” comes the call from a corner of the cabin, where Emmanuel Lobijo Josto, 22, is directing a movie about gang warfare, wiping off sweat in the 40-degree Celsius

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Oil-mudslides rolling over South Sudan

Trigged by an oil spill and subsequent heavy rainfall, waves of oil and contaminants-soaked mud are rolling over South Sudanese villages and farmlands, reports the Nile Institute of Environmental Health (NIE-Health), one of the country’s leading environmental monitoring and reporting institutions. https://www.facebook.com/NIEH2016/?hc_ref=ARSVAlJb-HSYuz4PPezZTwcppv_DQHwEt4SCM96Doh6Muwit9cbSKWJKxjbKPOEInWw&fref=nf The oil spill resulted from a bursting in December 2017 of a pipeline connecting Paloch and Adar, home to two of South Sudan’s most productive oil fields. The fields’ operators patched the pipeline and made a half-hearted attempt to bury and cover the spilled crude. The seasonal rainfall gripping South Sudan has transformed the oil residues into a

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Fighting for their forests

Courageous communities take on the clear-cutters in South Sudan’s pristine woods Ignoring regulations designed to protect Lela-Bul, wildcatting loggers are swarming over from Uganda to clear-cut one of Africa’s last greatest stands of first-growth forest. As environmental journalist Hannington A. Ochan reports, this onslaught is finally inciting resistance. The communities that have lived from and with the forests for generations are organizing themselves to fight for them. Read the full article

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Healing the pain through comedy

By Waakhe Simon Wudu Mading Ngor’s childhood was spent fleeing the massacre that wiped out his village and killed his father, and then surviving the ensuing ten bitterly-hard years as a child refugee. One of his remedies for fixing South Sudan would seem surprising, especially in view of his own harrowing childhood: comedy. “We looked for the one thing that could build bridges across the deep divides that rack our country, and we came up with comedy,” says Mading. And specifically, neighboring Kenya’s Eric Omondi, whose international popularity recently earned him a star turn on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. Read the

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Remembering a friend

by Bonifacio Taban “John Manguet was a heroic reporter and a leader. He was loved and embraced in his community,” says Nigel Ballard, Internews Director of Community Radio. That is John’s epitaph. John was killed in the late afternoon of July 11, 2016 by South Sudanese troops embarked on an orgy of killing, rape and harassment. John was 32 years old. I met John in 2012. He was a reporter for a community radio station in Bentiu, South Sudan. I was freelancing in the town, which is a center of the oil industry, for the Voice of America and for

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Joseph Oduha on journalism in South Sudan

Reporting in the “world’s most dangerous country for journalists” “Hard to believe nowadays, but I used to love my chosen profession. That was before civil war broke out in 2013. In the heady pre-civil war era,  hopes ran high that South Sudan would have freedom of the press. Those hopes are long gone. I  report on politics, corruption, violations of human rights and of freedom of the press and speech. That makes me a front-line reporter in today’s South Sudan. Read the full article  

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Sign of Hope’s press conference

The press conference in Berlin: eyewitness reports of horrible environmental contamination, new and scary victim totals. Held on April 18th in Berlin, Sign of Hope’s press conference produced shocking revelations on Big Oil’s contamination of water, lives and the environment in South Sudan. The speakers were:  Reimund Reubelt, Chairperson, Hoffnungszeichen | Sign of Hope e.V. Klaus Stieglitz, Vice-Chairperson, Hoffnungszeichen | Sign of Hope e.V. Nnimmo Bassey, Oilwatch, Hero of the Environment, Right Livelihood Award laureate (Alternative Nobel Prize) Bior K. Bior, Nile Institute of Environmental Health, South Sudan

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Grassroots journalism!

Eyewitness reports from courageous journalists Report #1: Pariang: Polluted desert land | By Simon Bingo PARIANG – Oil exploration in South Sudan’s Unity State takes a heavy toll on the environment. Residents and their animals suffer from diseases caused by contaminated drinking water: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KxE0m_-qZI Report #2: Officials warn oil taints drinking water in South Sudan’s Unity State | By Bonifacio Taban BENTIU – Drinking water in South Sudan’s Unity State near the oil fields is unsafe, according to officials who are warning people living near the fields that crude is leaking into groundwater in the area: https://www.theniles.org/en/articles/archive/2133/Officials-warn-oil-taints-drinking-water-in-South-Sudan’s-Unity-State.htm Report #3: Local

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Parliament hearing on oil’s contamination of water

South Sudan’s parliament holding hearing on oil’s contamination of water, lives and politics in South Sudan April 4, 2018 Sign of Hope’s ten-year campaign to stop Big Oil’s destruction of lives, livelihoods and the environment has just accomplished a major breakthrough. In a hearing staged today, the country’s Legislative Assembly is taking a searching look at the causes and effects of this destruction, which has been repeatedly described by authoritative sources as being “one of the world’s great crimes against the environment and humanity.” This hearing follows years of strenuous denials by the country’s government that this problem even existed.

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