The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations on Natural Resources (CSCNR) have appealed foreign investors to consider the health and safety concerns of oil workers and local communities in the oil producing areas of South Sudan.

The call comes as South Sudan hosts the fifth Oil & Power conference in the capital, Juba.

 “Our message is that companies should take responsibility in terms of local content. How do our people benefit? We need environmental management systems that protect oil workers and local communities from adverse effects related to exposure to hazards from poor management of waste,” said Vens Koma, the national coordinator for CSCNR.

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He emphasized CSCNR’s tripartite approach of involving all stakeholders in the country.

 “Our approach is consultative and inclusive. We involve all stakeholders in the country. We urge government is adhere to rules of law and policy implementation,” stated Koma.

Specifically, CSCNR would like to bring the following concerns to the attention of the Government of South Sudan, investors and other stakeholders in the oil and gas sector;

•             We call upon government to implement the revitalized peace agreement in letter and spirit to build investors’ confidence and enable citizens enjoy peace dividends

•             We strongly advocate for adherence to international investment best practices that uphold the rights of communities and citizens of South Sudan during exploration, extraction and development process within the oil sector, without prejudices

•             Demand transparency and accountability in all transactions involving all investors in the natural resource sector as guided by the Petroleum Act, 2012 that requires disclosure of information on payments made by investors to the government

•             We urge proper utilisation of oil revenues to provide the infrastructure needed to expedite development, including better roads, electricity and other social services

•             Consider the health, safety and environmental concerns of oil workers and local communities. They should be protected hazards from poor management of waste.

•             Create jobs for locals and uphold labour rights of workers in the oil and gas sector

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