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Gov’t orders companies to obey environmental laws

By Wek Atak Kacjang

The Government through the Ministry of Environment and Forestry has directed all companies under the Ministry of Petroleum to comply with regulations on environment pollution in the country.

On Tuesday, six companies submitted their proposal document to the Ministry of Petroleum, the six companies are Envage Associated K (K) LTD, Bright Heritage Company limited, CSI International Bomatex LTD, Panloy and SGS, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Kenya, Cowl As Norway, Bridge consult Norway in partnership with Enviro care and Optimum Engineering company Earth view Geo consultant LTD and RPK,UK.

Speaking to the media during the opening of environmental Audit Bidder Tender yesterday, the minister of Environment and Forestry, Josephine Napwon Cosmas said the pollution in the oil field is real.

“I would like to tell all companies to take it in good consideration otherwise the Ministry of Environment has the right to stop the operation. Many people lost their lives, woman are victims, now they are giving birth to children with deformities,” she said.

She added that the environment policy 2015 to 2025 ensures that petroleum operations are conducted in a way that shall not pollute environment.

She revealed that the Ministry of Environment and Forestry commended the efforts of the Ministry of Petroleum for initiating the Audit process.

However, the Minister of Petroleum Puok Kang Chuol said the Ministry of Petroleum is taking the environmental issue as first priority.

“Since the start of oil production in 1997, there is no environmental audit. In 2019 the current Undersecretary in the Ministry of Petroleum initiated environmental audit committee when he was the Minister,’ he said.

He added that in 2020, they developed the scope of work and appointment of a consultant.

The issue of environmental pollution is a major threat in three States, Unity State, Upper Nile and Ruweng Administrative Area.

Recent Nile Initiative Health Environment report suggested that more than 200 children were born with deformities caused by suspected environmental pollution in the oilfields.

The research firm, Nile Initiative for Health and Environment, says it recorded over 218 cases of birth defects over the last three years.These are results gathered from all the oil fields in Unity, Upper Nile states and Ruweng Administrative Area.

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