South Sudan gov’t to investigate effects of oil pollution on population

Petroleum wastes in Unity Oilfields, Unity State (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

August 29th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan government has formed an investigation committee to probe into suspected cases of oil pollution believed to have caused different types of birth defects in infants and children born in oil-producing areas.

In recent years, birth abnormalities have been reported in South Sudan’s crude-producing areas, and the most common types of these conditions in infants include Congenital Heart Defects, Phocomelia and congenital amputations.

Speaking to reporters in the capital Juba the Ministry of Petroleum pointed out that investigations are underway to determine whether the reported conditions in different parts of the country are directly linked to oil pollution.

“The Ministry of Petroleum is currently working toward finding solutions to whether the deformation, stillbirths and miscarriages are due to the oil pollution,” said Awow Daniel Chuang.

“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.

Oil-rich South Sudan, despite being one of the largest oil producing countries in Africa, majority of its population lives on less than one dollar per day.

Shortly after the country gained independence from the north in 2011, the government gave an assurance that it would allocate 2% of oil revenues to local citizens residing in crude-producing areas, however, that promise was not fulfilled.

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