The National Minister of Environment and Forestry Josephine Napwon said the environmental audit report will soon be finalised and handed to her ministry for review and endorsement.
Napwon said three environmental firms that were selected through a competitive bidding process to conduct the environmental audit were unable to release the report due to a delay in funds by the oil companies.
“The selected firm commenced the audit, but due to the delay of releasing funds by the oil companies, the firms were unable to release the audit reports as planned,” said Napwon as she spoke in Juba during an on-going third-high-level meeting on environmental-related issues in the oil-producing areas.
“We have been informed that some funds were released, and the reports will soon be finalised. The audit reports will be handed over to the ministry of environment and forestry for review and endorsement, and thereafter they will be released to the public,” she added.
She promised firm implementation of the recommendations from the report to roll out reforms.
She added that the devastating floods have worsened oil pollution, resulting in the displacement and disruption of the livelihoods of over 800,000 people.
“According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, these impacts are projected to worsen since the world temperature has risen by 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels,” said Napwon.
She added, “we will be experiencing recurrent floods, droughts, heat waves, excessive temperatures and the invasion of exotic species and new diseases.”
She said South Sudan has no option but to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
“The ministry is working closely with the Netherlands embassy, which is funding the construction of dykes, levies and drainage systems in Jonglei State.
“We hope with the recently launched World Bank project, more flood control infrastructures will be constructed in the floods-affected states such as Unity and Upper Nile.”