JUBA – The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations on Natural Resources (CSCNR) has appealed to foreign investors to consider health and safety of oil workers as well as of the local communities in oil-producing areas of South Sudan.
The call comes as South Sudan conducts its fifth Oil & Power Conference in the capital, Juba.
“Our message is that companies should take responsibility in terms of local content. How do our people benefit? We need environmental management systems that protect oil workers and local communities from adverse effects related to exposure to hazards from poor management of waste,” Vens Koma, CSCNR National Coordinator said.
He emphasized CSCNR’s tripartite approach of involving all stakeholders in the country.
“Our approach is consultative and inclusive. We involve all stakeholders in the country. We urge the government to adhere to rules of law and policy implementation,” the activist urged.
“We call upon government to implement the revitalized peace agreement in letter and spirit to build investors’ confidence and enable citizens enjoy peace dividends,” he added.
He said the group “strongly advocate for adherence to international investment best practices that uphold the rights of communities and citizens of South Sudan during exploration, extraction and development process within the oil sector, without prejudices.”
They also demanded “transparency and accountability in all transactions involving all investors in the natural resource sector as guided by the Petroleum Act, 2012 that requires disclosure of information on payments made by investors to the government.”
They further said that they want a “proper utilization of oil revenues to provide the infrastructure needed to expedite development, including better roads, electricity and other social services” and for the oil companies to “consider the health, safety and environmental concerns of oil workers and local communities.
CSCNR is an alliance of more than 40 civil society organizations, including the trade union of petroleum and mine workers in South Sudan that works to advocate for safe investment and for the social rights of the communities in South Sudan to be respected.
The coalition says that it “also advocates for transparent and accountable use of revenues produced from the natural resources in South Sudan for the benefits its population.”