13th May 2021
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Oil pollution: Environmental audit to begin in March

Author: Joakino Francis | Published: Friday, January 15, 2021

An oil spill in Unity State in September 2019 | Credit | Courtesy

The government has announced that an environmental audit will start in March in all the oilfields across the country.

The Ministry of Petroleum says 11 companies will undergo the second stage of the selection process to select the final three.

The companies will start their six-month work by the end of March.

“Actual work of the audit will start after the finalization of the tendering process and is planned to commence at the end of March 2021 and continue for a period of 6 months,” Petroleum minister Pout Kang said on Thursday.

Targeted areas are Block 3 and 7 in Paloch, Block 1, 2, 4 plus block 5A in Unity State.

South Sudan is struggling to implement the 2012 Petroleum Act designed to manage the environmental impact of oil production after years of neglect.

But the country’s civil war that started in 2013-just two years after independence prevented the proper management of the environment.

The Ministry of Petroleum and oil companies have recently been under increased criticism over oil leakages that environmentalists say have destroyed lives and the environment in the oil-producing areas.

Both local and international campaign groups have reported widespread environmental pollution in oil-producing areas, with animals and people affected.

They say women are giving birth to deformed babies and stillbirths, claims the local people have confirmed.

In 2015, a German human rights and relief organization— Sign of Hope said the health of more than 180,000 people in northern Unity State was at risk due to drinking water contaminated by crude oil.

This was after it conducted a scientific study on water quality and contamination in the area.

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