in , ,




Group photo of Melut community representatives at the training on petroleum laws. /Melut


Following training on the petroleum Laws and regulations by Upper Nile Youth Development Association (UNYDA) in Melut, citizens in the oil rich county have called upon the governemnt, and the companies involved in oil and gas extraction in the area to implement the laws governing the sector.


The workshop brought together diverse stakeholders including local administrators, civil servants, civil society, youth, and women to increase their knowledge on the relevant laws and also seek their input to enrich ongoing discourse on the oil and gas industry in the country.


In his opening remarks Charles Onak, the Executive Director of UNYDA, convener of the meeting with support from Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) underscored the importance of the grassroots acquainting themselves with the petroleum governance framework. This is envisioned to promote transparency and accountability at all levels for sustainable petroleum development.

Mr. Charles Onak delivering a public lecture at Melut community Centre.


Meanwhile the Payam administrator expressed his gratitude to the organization for educating the community including its leaders on the applicable petroleum laws. He said “This will increase our awareness of the laws and our rights as community in oil producing area”. In November 2020, members of the local community protested on the streets of Melut town demanding for greater provision of services and development by both the government and operating companies as stipulated in the Petroleum Act 2012 and Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2013.


This led to the signing of an MOU facilitated by the Ministry of Petroleum between the operating companies and the Greater Melut Civil Society representing the local communities. Key clauses of the agreement including improvement of town roads, tarmacking of major roads, and provision of water services beyond the town, among others remain largely unaddressed. However, others such as work placement, and upgrading roads to gravel within Melut town are achieved or ongoing.


A grader working on internal roads within Melut town/ May 23/21/Melut

Participants in the public lecture also raised corporate social responsibility. Many expressed their wish for the oil operating companies to spend their CSR budgets on education, health and infrastructural development. They emphasized the social corporate responsibility should also meet needs of the community, therefore prior consultation and assessment of local needs is important.


There was also a renewed call for the companies to integrate environmental concerns in their business operations. Mr. Charles Onak who also doubles as the Civil Society Coalition on Natural Resources (CSCNR) Chairperson and representative of civil society in the Ministry of Petroleum constituted Environmental Audit Committee, said that there is already an ongoing process to document, evaluate how oil drilling activities in South Sudan conform with the approved environmental management best practices. He urged the government to remain committed to this process to promote safe and healthy environment at all stages of the production, as well as decommissioning.


It should be recalled South Sudan until the ongoing environmental audit ordered for in 2019 had not performed any comprehensive environmental audit to know the impact of oil production since it started flowing in 1997 under the then Sudan. After independence environmental and health experts have been calling for greater scrutiny on the sector especially following increased reports of poor waste disposal, health related defects and pollution in the oil producing states.


Oil for development, improving the lives of people and delivery of quality services

remains a far cry as seen in the latest Auditor General’s report on the audit of the accounts of 2% & 3% share of net oil revenue of the oil producing states and communities found gross inconsistencies regarding the allocation, transfers and management of the oil money contrary to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2013. The report was produced in March 2021, and covered the period 2011 to 2021 concluded that, the information, data and explanations given by the Ministry of Finance and Bank of South Sudan do not represent a complete, reliable, true and fair record of the amounts and usage of 2% and 3% share of net oil revenue due to the oil producing states.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Machar mourns ‘dedicated cadre’ Gen. Simon Jok Gatwech

Jagei Community rejects Finance Minister’s election on legal grounds