Juba, South Sudan,
July 20, 2021 – An unnamed woman in Ruweng Administrative Area has given birth to a baby deformed beyond recognition in a development that sent tongues wagging in the community.
Images posted on social media Monday evening show a baby with an unrecognizable face and free-exposed brain tissue, which confirms the absence of a fetal skull.
A forensic analysis by Nyamilepedia confirmed that the images were first taken on 19th July 2021. Eyewitnesses said the baby was born of an underage girl (name withheld) in Ruweng, one of the oil-producing areas in South Sudan.
Aleer Jok, a medical researcher told Nyamilepedia that the images depict what he called amelia and acrania, both are birth defects that stem from environmental pollution.
“Am seeing amelia and acrania, these are birth defects mostly due to exposure to thalidomides and many other environmental exposures. The GoSS should be keen on the welfare of families living in those oil-producing blocks such as Ruweng,” he said.
Residents of oil-producing states and administrative areas have been victims of environmental toxicity emanating from oil waste mismanagement.
The impact of environmental pollution through oil waste mismanagement dates back to 2019 when the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation started operation at different oil blocks across South Sudan.
Since then, damning reports emerged on the dreadful impact of oil waste mismanagement on the inhabitants of the producing area.
In 2020, The Associated Press reported similar similar incidents of birth defects and child deformation in Paloch County of Unity State.
Despite these compelling reports highlighting the devastating impact of oil-waste mismanagement on humans and livestock, the government of South Sudan has done very little to call foreign oil companies to order.
In June, the Minister of Petroleum Puot Kang Chol ordered all foreign oil operating companies to adhere to national and environmental laws on oil operation and threatened to revoke licenses for those who would not comply.
While the threat may yield some impact on the way oil companies operate, it will take even longer to reverse the health consequences communities have been subjected to as a result of environmental pollution.