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Activists demands Unity State consults with communities over relocation from oilfields

File photo of an oil spill in Rabak

By Ruot George

The government of Unity State must first consult with affected communities before relocating them from areas around the oilfields.

The relocation plan was announced by the State Minister of Information, David Gai this week.

The aim is to move them away from areas reportedly polluted “to avoid a possible danger of oil pollution to the people and animals,” Gai said.

Those residing around the oilfields have reported alarming cases of birth defects, miscarriages and other health problems.

Reacting to the plan, the Climate Change Adaptation and Smart Action (CCASA) warned that without consultation, that relocation would not work well.

“Relocating the residents should not be a group of people sitting and making decisions,” Thor Younes, the Executive Director of CCASA said in a statement.

Younes said it may lead to the lose of ancestral land of the people.

“People must be part of the decision so that the whole process is peaceful, proper, and voluntary without force or and a clear road map on the packages,” he said.

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