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Sud Soudan : Taking advantage of civil war

D 23 mai 2017     H 05:32     A     C 0 messages

Drinking water around an oil-producing area in South Sudan is heavily polluted. A German NGO puts the blame on Malaysian oil company Petronas. A professor from the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences at Berlin’s Charite Hospital, says the findings represent "a threat to the population." The continuous intake of both metals can lead to dramatic consequences, for example, anemia and kidney failure. Lead poisoning can also affect the nervous system. "It can lead to serious symptoms like intelligence deficiency, paralysis and psychological problems," said toxicologist Fritz Prangst.

Samples from the areas around the oil fields were full of lead and barium. The worst hit location was Koch, 14 miles away from the oil field. The exposure to lead there was four times higher than the average.

It is clear to him how the heavy metals got into the drinking water and from there into people’s bodies. "There has to be a connection to the processes which take place during oil tapping and production," Prangst told DW. Both substances are used during oil production. The aid organization Sign of Hope presented photos showing large holes full of mud from drilling. From there, the poisonous substances were able to seep into the ground and end up in drinking water. "From our point of view, the culprit is the oil industry that does not dispose of its waste in a proper way."

The oil field in Thar Jath is run by a pool of companies. The main shareholder is the Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas.

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