South Sudan warned the private oil companies of ecological damage caused to the people and animals at the oilfield. Oil Minister said the government would monitor the operation of oil companies, and there must be a continuous environmental audit.
Several reports indicated the manage caused by the oil pollution to the residents include children born deform.
Minister briefed news media in Juba during the launch of tender oil contract that will audit the environment.
National ministries of petroleum and environment, and forestry have warned oil companies operating in South Sudan against environmental pollutions that affected citizens’ lives.
The two ministries issued a similar warning during the launch environmental auditing process that will be this year.
Six oil companies that applied for the tender contract were selected to audit the environmentally affected oil-producing regions of the Upper Nile, Unity, and Ruweng administrative area.
The private companies selected for tender contract competition include Envage Associate (K) LTD, Bright Heritage company limited, CSI International (Bomatex ltd), Panloy, Cowi as Norway Optimum Engineering company. None of these companies is yet to take for the tender contract.
Minister of petroleum and Gas Commission Hon. Puot Kang cautioned oil companies to put the lives of the people first.
Mr. Puot said the environmental auditing exercise aims to find credible information and address environmental challenges in South Sudan. The minister further advised that the company that will be contracting for environmental should work with the law.
“When we talk about the environmental audited, it is not like other audits. We are dealing with the life of our people. And we are dealing with the lives of our people, and then we must be careful.”
The minister of environment and forestry Josephine Niphon urged oil companies to operate within the law, particularly petroleum, to avoid environmental pollutions that affected the lives of local communities.
She warned the company of any negligence that might result in the loss of lives in the oil operation without complying with the law.
The representative of Unity state government, Hon. Malual Tap Diu, Minister of Finance, said companies should protect the environment and put lives first. He argued the share payable to the state where oil is operating should not jeopardize people’s health.
“I want to remind the ministry of petroleum and stakeholders that the five percent give to the state are not in exchange the lives of our people.”
According to the petroleum ministry, since the starting of oil production in 1997, environmental affected have never been audited in South Sudan.
The environmental report recommended a five-year clean-up that would cost about $58 million. South Sudan expects its oil industry to generate $99 million in revenue each month from July 2019 to June 2020, according to the national budget.