One of the babies born in the oilfield due to the effect. Photo credit: Deng Monychol

By Jon Pen de Ngong

It has been on for long out of the glare of the cameras of the country and the world. Those community activists who tried to speak out have felt on their heads the weight of the investor-procured law in the hands of the nation’s security agencies.

Now that the minister for Petroleum has added the salt to the wound, the impunity on the oil companies will be redoubled.

It is heartbreaking to see the very Ruweng people’s son, Hon. Awow Daniel Chuang, trashing the disaster of the oil sludge into the people’s sources of livelihoods: water points, farms and villages, as “a normal thing”!

“Oil leak is a normal thing. It happens because this pipeline is ageing. From time to time, you will find some spills here and there,” said Hon. Awuou Daniel to journalists in Juba.

How normal is the situation when thousands of barrels of crude oil are roaring down the river Nile and people’s home?

How normal is the oil spill when from the previous spills we are receiving babies without eyes or with private parts planted by oil’s devil on the back of the newborns?

Mr. Minister, how dare you trash the huge mushroom balls of thick smoke and soot in the sky as normal? And the stench of the yellow vapour from the petroleum refuse ponds yawning for the savannah sun? And moreover being inhaled by poor labourers around there!

At this rate of enhanced indifference to the people’s cries and crises, it should be upon the people to seek for themselves justice. I am not trying to incite but am just here to invite without fear or favour whoever is concerned about the lives and rights of our people, needless to say the environment in the era of global warming and climate change.

As our campaign slogans are still hanging on billboards in Juba, it’s high time our leaders are our readers, so as to get reminded: ‘SOUTH SUDAN IS WATCHING’!

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