South Sudan resumes environmental audit in oil-field areas

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JUBA, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) — South Sudan on Thursday resumed its plan to boost environmental audit in oil-producing regions following public uproar over poor waste management.

Puot Kang Chol, Petroleum Minister, said the east Africa nation was experiencing environmental damage, adding that his ministry has formed a committee to vet the international companies before the end of March and begin work in April.

“On behalf of the government, I am pleased to announce to you the full environmental audit in all oil fields in the country. The audit will cover the current oil-producing fields in blocks 3, 7 and Block 1, 2 and 4 including block 5A,” Kang told reporters in Juba.

South Sudan’s petroleum Act 2012, enacted a year after independence, is designed to better manage the environmental impact of the sector after years of neglect prior to independence, and the resulting pollution.

Kang said the protracted civil war has also prevented the proper management of the environment, adding that the country is facing a lot of challenges, particularly in balancing developmental needs with the spirit of environmental protection.

The energy sector had in the past caused a loss of grazing land, deforestation, soil and water contamination, and health issues in and around the oil-producing areas.

South Sudan used to produce about 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) before the eruption of civil war in 2013, and after the violent political conflict, the production dropped to 185,000 bpd. Enditem

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