Petroleum Minister admits pollution, demands Environmental Audit

Oil affected areas {Photo curtesy}

By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei

The Minister of Petroleum Puot Kang Chol has admitted that the country is facing an enormous environmental pollution from the oil exploration while urging the oil companies to accept the Environmental Audit that the government has been pushing for.

Speaking during a workshop organized by the Ministry of Petroleum on the implementation of a Unified Human Resource Policy Manual for petroleum workers, Minister Puot Kang said it will be naïve for them to deny the fact that there is environmental pollution as a result of the oil exploration which are visible.

“If we continue to say that there is no environmental pollution, when satellite is all over the world and pictures are being taken, we will be mistaken, we will be like someone who is telling a doctor that you said I have appendix and what I feel is not Appendix that I have something else,” he stated.

The Petroleum Minister stressed that there is a need of Environmental Audit most especially that they {Oil Companies} are in better position currently.

“We will do the Environmental Auditing, it’s something we are done with,” he urged.

“I know that there is court process that are happening and this is what I have been telling the partners, once those court are constituted, the end result will be so devastating for us, so we are in better position to do what we can in the shortest time possible,” Minister Kang emphasized.

“So having environmental audit is to our advantage, not to the other person, because as a result of the audit, we will be told what to do, if we are told to do what we were supposed to do, and we do it, our community will be happy, because the environment will be clean” Kang underscored.

The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier reported that South Sudan is experiencing a wide variety of environmental problems, including soil degradation due to the widespread deforestation with consequent loss of biodiversity and wildlife habitats, pollution of rivers.

The report added that, this pollution is due to oil drilling in the wetlands, over-exploitation of fisheries and conflict over diminishing resources such as rangelands and water sources for livestock.

However, some of the environmental impacts on health have been due to an increase in environmental-related diseases such as malaria, typhoid and watery diarrheal diseases, this is largely due to widespread water contamination by urban surface runoff and poor environmental sanitation.

This is as a result of inadequate disposal of both solid and liquid wastes on the open ground.

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