Leaders of Ruweng community have tasked companies drilling oil in the Administrative Area to be mindful of oil spills polluting the environment.
“We are saying oil should be produced but it should also be done with care and standards so that the health of our people is also protected, we produce 80 percent of the oil that comes from Unity oil field,” said Stephen Wieu Malek, the Ruweng chief administrator during press conference in Juba on Tuesday.
Malek said that areas affected by oil pollution are Aliny, Tuoc and Lake No.
“If you go and see by yourself the kind of damage, the kind of environmental pollution you will be shocked, you might see children born with deformities due to oil pollution,” he said.
In 2020, lawyers representing Ruweng community filed petition at the Supreme Court, accusing oil companies of human rights violations due to failure to prevent and control oil spill in the oil fields.
Malek said that oil production in parts of Ruweng Administrative Area has left vast landscape contaminated by toxic chemicals, adding that the situation poses threat to not only humans but also animals and aquatic life.
“If you take water in Pariang now days, you will go for two days without going for short call, these are the challenges we are facing due to oil pollution,” he said.
“It is a complex situation that needs attention of us as government, oil companies and everybody to make sure that standards and care is taken in correcting some of these things,” added Malek.
Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC), a consortium of oil companies owned by China, India, Malaysia and South Sudan operate the Ruweng oil fields.