Save women from birth defects of oil pollution – Atong says
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tripple A Petroleum Ltd, Atong Agook is calling on the government to address oil pollution in the producing areas.
In her public address on the second day of South Sudan’s Oil and Power 2022 Conference and Exhibition in Juba, Atong said that oil pollution negatively affected women in oil-producing states leading to birth defects.
“We need to address how women are affected the most by oil pollution in oil-producing areas from diseases to giving birth to deformed children and losing their source of livelihood,” she stated.
She further called for the actualisation of 35 per cent of women’s affirmative action for them to participate in decision-making in the oil and energy sector, as well as providing them with scholarships to advance their studies.
“South Sudan’s oil and gas industry is missing a golden opportunity to empower women by partnering with and purchasing from female entrepreneurs, who could provide a vast range of services and goods, from logistics to engineering to food services,” she added.
In 2020, The Associated Press published a report that stated that the use of fossil fuels in South Sudan had caused birth defects and miscarriages among the host communities in the oil fields.
Egbert Wesselink, the former head of the European coalition of over 50 non-profit organizations, said South Sudan’s oil operations were poorly managed.
“South Sudan is running one of the dirtiest and poorest managed oil operations on the planet.” I don’t think there’s a single major industrial operation on earth that’s getting away with this,” he said.
Oil-producing communities in South Sudan further accused the government, Dar Petroleum Operating Co. (DPOC), and the Greater Pioneer Operating Co. (GPOC), of covering up what was surely affecting the lives of communities.