By Tapeng Michael Ohure
About 600 cattle and goats have died after allegedly drinking water contaminated by crude oil in Koch county of Unity State.
Thor Yoanes, the Executive Director for the Climate Change Adaptation and Smart Actions (CCASA) warned that leakages from oil pipelines mixing with flood water in the oil rich regions is causing alarm among residents.
The spills in Koch is alleged to have left about 300 cattle and 274 goats dead.
According to residents of Koch County, the mass death of livestock occurred after drinking from water contaminated by oil spills in Bentiu.
“While companies managing the crude oil production are doing less to save lives at this time, CCASA is concerned about the negligence by the oil companies and environmental pollution,” Yoanes told Juba Echo on phone.
Yoanes urged the local authorities in the affected areas and the oil operating companies to conduct an assessment in Tharjiath and Unity oil fields.
“We call upon the local authority to formulate an amicable solution to counter continuous deaths of animals and people in the oil producing regions,” he said.
“We call upon the government and the oil operating companies to conduct assessment in the Tharjiath and Unity oil fields to establish fact finding about the oil spill and poor environmental management.”
Unity State has for years been witnessing recurrence of oil spills from leaking oil pipelines.
According to several media reports, the oil industry in South Sudan has left a landscape pocked with hundreds of open waste pits, the water and soil contaminated with toxic chemicals and heavy metals including mercury, manganese, and arsenic.
The country counts an estimated 12 million cattle, 12.1 million sheep and 12.4 million goats, making South Sudan one of the world leaders in animal wealth per capita, according to records from the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.