South Sudan’s environment ministry asks for help

Dramatic appeal by South Sudan’s environment ministry to UN Environment Assembly: help us put an end to oil’s pollution of water in our country

December 4, 2017

In a stunning change of heart and policy, the government of South Sudan – represented by its ministry of environment – has taken up Sign of Hope’s call for a clean up of oil’s pollution of the country’s water.
The plea was made by Joseph Bartel, the Permanent Secretary at the Environment Ministry. His appeal: highly dramatic. South Sudan is facing an oil-caused environmental disaster. Help us clean it up.
The venue: equally dramatic: the UN Environment Assembly – the world’s decision-making body in environmental matters. This year’s Assembly is being held in Nairobi, and is being attended by all of the UN’s member countries.
The Assembly’s slogan: #BeatPollution.

“For the last nine years, Sign of Hope and the scientists with whom it works have been alerting the world to this great and growing crime against human rights and the environment. The government of South Sudan and its corporate allies have repeatedly denied the existence of this ravaging of people’s lives and livelihoods. That is why we especially welcome the government’s admission of there being a problem. We now look forward to the great clean-up. The first step: a full-scale investigation of South Sudan’s oil fields’ environments and environs,” states Klaus Stieglitz, Deputy Chairperson of Sign of Hope, the Germany-based NGO.