By Bida Elly David
Members of South Sudan’s National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) have called on authorities to quickly find remedies to the ongoing climate change shocks facing citizens in the country.
The concern followed a presentation of a report by parliamentary delegation to conference in Egypt on global climate change.
Rebecca Joshua Okwachi, a representative of the delegation, said the conference of parties (COP 27) on climate change, aimed at identifying solutions to advance climate action.
She noted that South Sudan, during the conference, was identified as one of the countries across the globe facing serious climate change problems.
“In its participation in COP27, the delegation contributed by showcasing the impact of climate change in the country, especially losses caused by flooding,” the delegation head told the August House yesterday.
She said the delegation presented a series of destructions caused by the impacts of climate change in South Sudan, mainly the displacement of thousands of people, especially children and women, and damage to homes, roads, and farms.
Gai Mayen Luk, a lawmaker representing Lake State under the SPLM-IO ticket, observed that there are issues with the implementation of treaties by the government.
He mentioned continuous deforestation and destruction caused by natural and man-made disasters not being mitigated.
“We are causing desertification and deforestation ourselves; if you go to most parts of the country, there is lots of illegal logging going on,” he echoed.
He said the practice has resulted in more heat and a lesser amount of rainfall that the country has received for farming.
“In Lake State, we have been having a lot of issues over the absence of rain; people are not able to produce enough food because of the limited amount of rainfall,” he hinted.
Mr. Mayen suggested the need for the government to launch a campaign to plant as many trees as possible to attract rainfall.
He said South Sudan is still behind in the technological fight against climate change issues.
“Our investment in renewable technology is very minimal; if we talk about climate change, the reduction of carbon emissions is very essential,” he underscored.
“If you have been walking around, you have seen trucks carrying charcoal, and for every bag of charcoal, there is a tree that has been cut down, contributing to climate change,” he cited.
Mr. Mayen stressed that issues concerning climate change in South Sudan must be taken seriously as people and livestock get destroyed.
“The problem we have is that we don’t have empirical data with respect to aspects of climate change. There is no data on carbon markets or greenhouse emissions,” he said.
Joseph Malual, another MP representing Lake State, criticized the parliamentary tendency to focus too much on international treaties with no proper documentation on the catastrophe.
For his part, Nathaniel Oyet, the first deputy speaker who chaired the Monday sitting in the absence of the speaker, conquered with the legislators’ submissions, saying indeed the country needs proper data to help fight climate change issues.
He noted with concern that the lack of renewable technologies is one of the key elements in fighting climate change issues in South Sudan.
Oyet said the observations and recommendations would reach the executive, especially the Ministry of Environment, to brainstorm and put them into practice.
The parliament, with the necessary observations and recommendations, passed the report for its final consumption.
The South Sudan Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) was invited by the Inter-Parliamentary Union General Secretary to attend the annual parliamentary session in Egypt on November 22, 2022.
The Conference of Parties Number 27 (COP27) was organized by the United Nations Framework on Global Climate Change and aimed at brainstorming ways to end climatic challenges across the globe.