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‘There is no escape’ for companies causing oil pollution

Oil Processing Facility in former Unity State. File Photo

The oil companies that are causing oil pollution will dearly pay for the destruction they caused to the environment, the undersecretary at the ministry of environment and forestry has said.

Joseph Africana spoke to Eye Radio in his office on Tuesday.

“There is no escaping, you cannot just simply come and say you have worked in South Sudan, you have done these, you screw up the environment and tomorrow you leave,” he said.

Recently, some residents of the former Upper Nile, who live near the oil fields in Paloch, complained of environmental pollution as a result of oil production.

They reported outbreaks of unidentified diseases which they said were not there before oil production started in the area.

These include giving birth to deformed babies, stillbirths and miscarriages by pregnant women.

When summoned, the accused companies – including Dar Petroleum Operating Company, Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, and Sudd Petroleum Operating Company, undermine the ministry of environment.

“If not this generation, other generations will go after you. There are international norms that we can sue people who cause damage,” added Mr. Africano.

According to the Petroleum Act of 2012, petroleum activities shall be conducted in a manner that ensures a high level of health and safety is achieved, maintained and further developed.

It stipulates that this must be done in accordance with technological developments, best international practice and applicable law on health, safety and labor.