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TNLA summon two Ministers and Nilepet Director over oil pollution 

TNLA summon two Ministers and Nilepet Director over oil pollution 
The Speaker of the National Transitional Legislative Assembly, Rt. Hon. Jemma Nunu Kumba (Right) and Hon. Oyet Nathaniel, Deputy Speaker of TNLA during the swearing ceremony last year.

The transitional legislative assembly has summoned the national minister of petroleum, Hon. Puot Kang Chuol and Environment Minister Hon. Josephine Napwon, the Director of the Nilepet Dr. Chol Thon to appear in the parliament on Wednesday next week.

The officials are expected to answer questions from lawmakers on environmental pollution caused by oil exploration and production in Unity and other parts of the country.

The parliament resolved following the presentation of two motions that needed urgent attention and intervention in the areas of Koch in Unity and Ayod County in Jonglei.

Hon. Wait John Dak, an area MP representing Koch and Mary Nyaulang Ret for Ayod in Jonglei, raised Wednesday’s motion.

Hon. John says the exploration of Oil in Koch has had many adverse effects on the host community like environmental pollution, water contamination, women giving birth to malformed babies, and many others.

She suggests that the companies exploring oil in those areas must adopt reasonable policies that protect the lives of the people and the livestock.

Ms. Dak calls for the formation of a committee to assess the situation and present findings to the government.

The MP further demands that oil companies establish well-equipped referral hospitals and learning institutions in their production areas.

On the other hand, Hon. Mary Nyaulang Ret has appealed to the government to immediately intervene in the unknown explosion being reported in Ayod last year.

Hon. Ret says the explosion has caused a lot of risk to the residents living there because it spills into the water sources that cause poor agricultural production.

“I am appealing for government intervention to avert the right consensus of the explosion now that is still a source of danger to the Citizens.”

According to the MP in the area, residents in Ayod said they had seen black substantial believed to be an oil that needs exploration.

In 2019, South Sudan signed a six-year exploration and production sharing agreement for an untapped block in Jonglei state with South Africa.

Hon. Farouk Gatkuoth Kam, the chief opposition whip, challenged the foreign oil companies for exploiting the citizens. He says the government can formulate a law that will regulate the minerals in the country and protect the right of the citizens.

The Speaker of the National Transitional Legislative Assembly, Rt. Hon. Jemma Nunu Kumba, has called MPs to get ready for questions that will be directed to the summoned ministers.

“As we are summoning the ministers, Petroleum is the main culprit and then, of course, the national oil company the Nilepet and then the environment.” 

In 2020, South Sudan invited tenders for a comprehensive environmental audit of its oil-producing fields to reduce pollution.