Juba, South Sudan,
June 21, 2021 – The cabinet has ordered the instant environmental audit to determine the level of risk caused by oil production on the environment amid reports of deaths and birth defects caused by environmental toxicity resulting from oil waste mismanagement.
This came less than a week after Josephine Napwon Cosmos, the Minister of Environment and Forestry called for intervention by President Salva over resistance by oil companies to be audited.
According to information obtained by Nyamilepedia, Napwon in her remarks during a cabinet meeting on Friday said oil companies ignored her calls to review their mode of operation and activities in the country.
“The oil operating companies have often refused to allow my team to review their mode of operation and activities in the country,” she said.
Both local and international campaign groups have reported widespread environmental pollution in oil-producing areas, with animals and people affected.
Over the last three months, the government announced that an environmental audit would be carried out in all oilfields across the country especially Block 3 and Block 7 in Paloch, Block 1, 2, 4 as well as block 5A in Unity State.
The two Ministries concerned, petroleum and environment ministry were directed to immediately embark on the auditing process of all oil companies operating in South Sudan.
South Sudan Information Minister who doubles as government spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth reaffirmed Government’s approval for the environmental audit, adding that it should be conducted without any further delay “So that we find out or we know who is responsible for this environmental degradation.”
South Sudan is struggling to implement the 2012 Petroleum Act designed to manage the environmental impact of oil production after years of neglect.
The oil companies operating in South Sudan are unwilling and resisting to follow the environmental guidelines and as a result, many deformed children are born in Koch County of Unity State and Ruweng Administrative because of the oil toxic wastes that resulted from negligence and recklessness of the companies from protecting the environment from pollution.
Last month, tensions between oil minister Puot Kang and Chinese oil companies were very high to the point that the Chinese clandestinely resorted to advocate for the removal of Kang over his stance to restrict their recklessness.