So. Sudan: Parliament probes oil pollution that has allegedly displaced 500,000 people

Author: Joseph Oduha, The EastAfrican (Kenya), Published on: 17 July 2018

"South Sudan minister summoned over oil pollution"

A South Sudan parliamentary committee has summoned Oil minister Ezekiel Gatkuoth Lol for failure to report on the pollution in the Upper Nile states. Mr James Lual, who heads the National Assembly Petroleum Committee, said Mr Lol had failed to produce a report on the damage inflicted by the oil pollution that has displaced about 500,000 people. “It was in March when we first told the Oil minister to send a third party to the oil polluted areas and give us the findings on the damage inflicted within one or two months for action. But until now, we have not heard anything from the minister,” Mr Lual said on phone from Khartoum.  “So, we will have to summon him to explain what happened,” he said. He said that parliament in Juba had heard the outcry from the residents of the producing areas, and their demand for government action to protect them from the irresponsible oil companies...

German-based Sign of Hope organisation has previously reported on the pollution around the Thar Jath oil processing plant. "There is a direct link between the contamination of the people and the activities of the petroleum industry working in this area," said Mr Klaus Stieglitz, from the Sign of Hope. "The total toxic stress — as found in the hair samples — of the human population of the area is life-threatening," said Mr Klaus-Dietrich Runow, from Germany's Institute for Functional Medicine and Environmental Health, one of two separate independent toxicologists who assessed the samples. Previous tests also pointed to a link between oil drilling and drinking water contamination.

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