MALAKAL – Residents of Melut County of the oil-rich Upper Nile state have taken to the streets to protest environmental pollution which has engulfed northern parts of the state as results of oil exploration leading to high rate of children being born incomplete.
Speaking to Sudans Post on Tuesday afternoon, one protester who refused not to be named said protests occurred on Sunday morning and said they are demanding an halt to the oil production in the area because oil companies are reckless in their management of oil wastes.
“We have informed the government and the oil companies several times that there must be an effective disposal of oil wastes which are affecting our people. People are dying of diseases that have never been in our land before and also it many babies have been born with deformities,” the protester said on condition of anonymity.
“After many years of appeals to the companies and the government to work in a way that avoid environmental pollution, we have come to the conclusion that none of the institution be it government of or the companies do not care,” he said.
The protester said they don’t want any other thing rather than the shutdown of the oil production in Melut County because “it is killing us and we can’t sit when our people are dying while even the government is not providing health services to our people and animals.”
Oil pollution has been escalating in recent years in South Sudan’s oil-producing states.
Children have been born with deformities in Unity state, Ruweng administrative area and Upper Nile state.
The government has several time warned oil companies against reckless exploration of oil and has promised improved oil production that put health of the citizens at risk.