MP raises alarm over water pollution by miners in Pochalla

MP raises alarm over water pollution by miners in Pochalla

A lawmaker representing Pochala County in Greater Pibor Administrative Area in the national legislative assembly, Dhariok Akui, is appealing for an investigation into mining activities in the area

Akui said the water from the downstream of River Akobo in the Pochalla area has been polluted due to the ongoing mining activities.

He described the water as unhealthy for human consumption, saying that even its colour had turned red.

“We have information from Pochalla area where the mining is taking place in our place called Gambela, most of the water has been polluted by some foreign miners who have gone there with their equipment,” he said during the assembly sitting on Wednesday.

 “According to the reports we are getting, the water coming towards the south which is towards our animals has turned red. What is that turning the colour to be red?” Akui asked.

“What are the chemicals that they are using to wash the gold in our area? This is a very serious issue and I want the ministry to know that such a situation is happening and there is need for them to act now,” he stressed

Akui called on the concerned body to send committee to go and investigate the companies engaging in mining in Pochalla.

 “You need to act now, send people to investigate what is happening there. Who are those companies doing that work and some are even foreigners not just South Sudanese, some just cross the border and come towards our area,” he said.

According to the lawmaker the presence of the government in Pochalla is very weak, making the area susceptible to criminal activities.

“There is a need for our Ministry of Wildlife to find out, and discover what is making the pollution and the water towards us. Will it not kill the animals and people?” Akui posed.

In August, authorities in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) terminated the operations of a gold mining company at Jebek Boma, citing a lack of proper operational documents.

The move came after the youth from the area raised a complaint about the presence of the mining company which had parked its equipment ready to start the extraction of the mineral.