The South Sudan National Ministry of Environment and Forestry has called upon citizens to promote best practices to conserve the environment in the country.
“As South Sudanese, it is our role to promote environmental best practices and this can be through changing our attitudes, mindsets, and making transformative policies towards environmentally-sound practices to achieve a better and healthy environment and promote sustainable development,” Dorina Keji, Director General for Environmental Education and Information said at the launch of Environmental Week on Monday.
She said that the environment was home to all living organisms and from where they drive all their basic needs for survival.
She added that environmental awareness is critical in the country’s endeavor to achieve sustainable development.
“Environmental awareness is an important channel for communication and interactions. Environmental outreach creates awareness to the general public, decision and policymakers, and private sectors,” she added.
She said South Sudan is experiencing serious natural and man-made environmental issues over time and space. Waste management, pollution from oil production, deforestation, and climate change were resulting in floods, drought, and other environmental hazards.
Keji said every citizen must play a role in ensuring and sustaining a conducive environment.
“Managing and protecting the environment is a shared and collective responsibility of all stakeholders, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, media, private sector, and the general public,” she said.
The Undersecretary for Environment in the National Ministry of Environment and Forestry Joseph Africano Bartel said the environmental awareness program shall be promoted through the media.
He said that there is massive deforestation in the country because 99 percent of the people are depending on charcoals for cooking.
He revealed that they have a plan of planting 100 million trees in 10 years to mitigate deforestation.
Bartel bemoaned the lack of source of energy, which made people to used charcoal leading to deforestation.
“We came up with ministerial orders burning the export of charcoal, but with conflict in the country people are just crossing to neighboring countries, also with miserable salaries of security organs most of them are now burning charcoal,” he lamented.
Senior South Sudanese officials profiteering from imported plastic bags
Senior government officials with deep links with security operatives have been pinned for using their clout to import the banned plastic bags into the country.
This was revealed on Monday by Joseph Africano Bartel, Undersecretary for Environment in the National Ministry of Environment and Forestry at a press conference held in Juba.
“We came up with ministerial order banning the use of plastic bags in the country but we can’t use that order in the courts of law, the order is supposed to be implemented by city council and security organs but that one didn’t happen,” Bartel said.
He noted that previously they tried arresting people importing plastic bags but in the end they reliazed that powerful individuals were behind them.
“These are people who have connection with military intelligence, national security services and it’s a contradiction between us and the government,” Bartel said.
He revealed that they will soon resume operation to confiscate the plastic bags in the market.
“It’s always ordinary people that fear the law and people who are supposed to implement the law are the ones breaking it, the operation will be done soon and we will name and shame people in the public,” Bartel assured.
In 2017 the government of South Sudan banned import of plastic bags in a bid to preserve the environment.