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MP accuses gov’t of neglecting citizens around oilfields

A member of parliament has accused the government of neglecting inhabitants of  the oil-producing states.

These oil-producing states include Northern and Southern Liech,  and Northern Upper Nile of former greater Upper Nile region in South Sudan.

In an exclusive interview with Eye Radio, the MP representing Rubkona County in Northern Liech state at the TNLA, Buay Keke said his constituents are not benefiting from the oil revenue.

“The oil that is being produced at that locality, there is no tangible benefit for the community. The community wants to see services delivered;  they need schools, roads and opportunity for their children, so that they feel that they are part and partial of the whole process.”

He said exploration has affected the environment in the area.

According to the constitution of 2011, 2 % of the oil revenue is supposed to be given back to the locals as their compensation and then relocated to an area far from the production.

In addition, it says any expropriation of land for the purposes of petroleum activities should be in the public interest and in consideration for prompt full and just compensation monetarily or otherwise.

However, several reports carried out by environmental campaign groups suggest that over 180, 000 South Sudanese who live near oil fields use water that is contaminated by the oil companies.

And last year, some residents of the former Upper Nile, who live near the oilfields 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.

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

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


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