Melut County Commissioner Akuoch Teng Dieng said that “the communities are not being consulted by the oil companies if they want to do something.”
“The company have decided on their own to reallocate the community from Melut which is very close to the oil field to new Palouch, the community refused because the area is very swampy and said we should have been consulted and decided which area is best for our living,” said Dieng
The Director of Community Development fund in the national Ministry of Petroleum and Mining who is also one of the team members to Paluoch said they have many plans to deliver necessary services to the communities to avoid the past experiences where the locals are neglected and denied their rights before the oil shutdown.
The visit also aims to see the impact of oil to the community living around the oil field where physical and displacement and lack of services delivery to the community was among the community complains.
The safety department manager was not happy that the local community tried to express their feeling about the situation on the ground telling them it’s an internal concern that need not to be disposed to the visitors.
Melut of Upper Nile State, Unity and Tharjiath oil fields are worst affected by oil exploration where the living of the local community and the surrounding areas are not well secured thus the county authority is doing its best to protect the community from harmful chemicals that might be damped recklessly by the oil companies management.
The team has observed that the chemical water from the water plant have seriously affected trees and grasses around there.
One of the women said that they “are not getting good services from the community specially clean drinking water, schools and healthcare centers.”
The team will be visiting the oil affected areas of Melut to investigate and find out from the local community how their situation is in terms of relationship with the oil companies and the oil workers as well.
The visit also aims for the unionization of oil companies’ workers in the oil operating States and how they should be involved to participate in helping the communities.
The visit to Paluoch oil field is supported by the Norwegian People’s Aid and participants from the three states, representatives from Norwegian Workers Union, a representative from Norwegian Embassy in South Sudan, a representative from Ghana, a representative from South Sudan Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, and journalists from different media houses.