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Deng Gai accuse hotels of polluting River Nile

First Vice President Taban Deng Gai at the World Environment Day celebration yesterday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Conference hall (Photo by Jale Richard):

By David Mono Danga               

The First Vice President Taban Deng Gai has accused the hotel companies of releasing raw sewage into storm waters during the rainy seasons.

Gai said that this has been the main cause of the cholera outbreaks witnessed in the country since the waste is carried into the Nile, the country’ main source of water.

Speaking during the celebration of the World Environment Day yesterday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Conference Hall he said; “The environment will be damaged beyond repair if the government does not introduce and implement policies to curb plastic pollution,” Gai warned.

“When it rains some of the hotels in Juba release their wastes into the flood waters which run into the Nile. People fetch water for domestic use from the streams. That is the main cause of the cholera outbreak in the country,” Gai added.

The FVP, who also launched the country’s First Environmental and Outlook Report 2017, urged citizens and environmental agencies to help provide technical expertise to eradicate environmental pollution in South Sudan. He said the country is blessed with rich environment that is worth protecting.

According to the report Juba is one of the world’s fastest-growing cities. Its population is about 350,000-400,000 and South Sudan’s urban population is expected to grow fourfold from 2014 to 2050.

The report cites that the lack of proper sewage systems and water treatment means human waste contaminates the water people use for household purposes, leading to the risk of waterborne illnesses such as cholera and malaria.

Arshad Kan, the United Nations Environmental Programme-UNEP Country Programme Manager said environmental intervention will not be effective enough to benefit the people of South Sudan unless there is sustainable peace in the country.

He said South Sudan should build the resilience to adapt to natural disasters by addressing real cause of environmental calamities.

This year’s celebration is being undertaken under the theme; “Together we can stop plastic pollution.”

The report cites socioeconomic factors and dynamics, such as economics, demographics, technology, cultural norms, governance and conflict, as the root causes that drive physical pressures on the environment. Pressures that range from extractive and land use activities such as forestry, agriculture, to fishing and mining.

It says the state of the ongoing strife in South Sudan is the major impediment to good governance that would ensure the productive use of its natural resources and the protection of its environmental assets.

The report indicates that the lack of strong, effective institutions to peacefully manage competing claims to local power and control and ownership of livestock and natural resources is an important factor in the ongoing conflict.

The proliferation of small arms, the politicisation of ethnicity, a legacy of weak property rights, the lack of economic diversification and overreliance on oil are other important contributing drivers.

The report concludes that the ongoing conflict prevents the country from sustainably using and maintaining its natural resources for the wellbeing of the population. Indeed, the conflict has touched each sector of the environment, and in turn, the population that depends on it.

FVP planted a tree along the Airport road to mark the World Environment Day 05/06/2018 (Photo by Jale Richard).

 

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