The cabinet has directed that a planned audit to ascertain the level of damage caused by oil production on the environment should start immediately.
This comes a day after the Minister of Environment and Forestry called on the President to intervene in what she describes as resistance by oil companies to be audited.
Josephine Napwon said the oil operating companies have often refused to allow her team to review their mode of operation and activities in the country.
Both local and international campaign groups have reported widespread environmental pollution in oil-producing areas, with animals and people affected.
In Mach, the government announced that an environmental audit would be carried out in all the oilfields across the country.
Targeted areas are Block 3 and 7 in Paloch, Block 1, 2, 4 plus block 5A in Unity State.
In a cabinet meeting on Friday, the petroleum and environment ministries were directed to kick-start the probe as soon as possible.
“The government approved that the environmental audit should be conducted immediately, so that we find out or we know who is responsible for this environmental degradation,” said Michael Makuei, the government spokesperson.
South Sudan is struggling to implement the 2012 Petroleum Act designed to manage the environmental impact of oil production after years of neglect.
Environmentalists say oil companies pay little attention to the protection of the environment.
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Published Friday, June 24, 2022
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