Africa: Contaminated Drinking Water in South Sudan – No Solution in Sight

Oil production in South Sudan has poisoned the drinking water of some 600,000 people.
"As a responsible organization, we place the interests of the local community as paramount," the Kuala Lumpur-based Petronas wrote to DW on April 18, dismissing the allegations by Sign of Hope, which works to protect the rights of people in distress.
"Whilst we deny the allegations made by Sign of Hope, we are considering Sign of Hope’s views about improving the situation in South Sudan and we are pleased to have had a positive exchange right at our very first meeting," Petronas said.
A concrete proposal was already on the table, it added.
Glimmer of hope Sign of Hope co-chair Klaus Stieglitz told DW that participants at a meeting between the two parties in Zurich appeared to be seriously interested in finding a solution.
At the time, Sign of Hope was running several health projects in the region.
Africa Water Ltd. wants to restore functionality to 15 boreholes within one year to give people in the region access to uncontaminated water.
"The Water for Life project will bring benefits of clean water supply to more than 40,000 people in South Sudan," Petronas spokeswoman Zahariah Abd Rahman told DW in an email.
More water projects would follow, she said.
What came as a surprise was that the project is not in South Sudan’s oil region but in the capital Juba.

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