Negative Impacts Of Oil Exploration Still A Concern In Oil Producing States In S.Sudan

Since the discovery of oil in South Sudan, environmental pollution arising from oil exploration has impacted negatively on some areas.

Negative Impacts Of Oil Exploration Still A Concern In Oil Producing States In S.Sudan
An oil well leaking in Unity State [Gurtong photo|James Gatluok]

By James Gatluok

BENTIU, 12 September 2018 [Gurtong]-The main stresses arise from leakages of crude oil, gas flaring and the escape of other chemicals used in the production processes which leaks into rivers, wetlands around the oil producing States lowering agricultural inputs and leading to soil degradation.

The environmental problems South Sudan especially in the areas where oil companies are operating poses a threat on the health of the people as there has been an increase in environment-related diseases such as malaria, typhoid and watery diarrheal diseases and deformity of children during child birth as a result to widespread water contamination by urban surface runoff and poor environmental sanitation and unprofessional ways of waste management by the companies.

Last week, residents of Unity State and the government of Greater Unity region united and called on the national government to prioritize environmental, human and livestock protection.

Mabek Lang, the Deputy Governor of Ruweng State said “Environmental protection is still a big challenge. The national government and the Ministry of Petroleum must put in measures governing oil wastes and chemicals, let the people of the oil producing States be safe and protected.”

He added that “the past experience was a wakeup call for the people of the oil producing States. We will also do what we can to protect our citizens, people in this area suffered so much as they were drinking contaminated stagnant water directly from the river sources.”
In Northern Liech State the residents have witnessed a serious oil leak in Unity Oil field for the last two months.

“All water sources in these areas are contaminated, when the oil operation started in Toma South of Pariang, we don’t know what happened to these wells as it started leaking and oil started spreading to the nearby water sources where we are getting our drinking water” said John Magai a charcoal seller living around the oil field.

Last Month the Acting Governor of Northern Liech State, Laraka Machar and a team from the oil companies visited the areas where oil leaks were reported and levelled some parts of the wells.

Oil is South Sudan’s main natural resource and accounts for 98% of the revenue. However, after the outbreak of violence in 2013, the oil operation halted until last month when operations resumed in some parts of greater Unity.
 

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