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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

South Sudan water minister says oil minister interfering in her activities

Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, flanked by his Sudanese counterpart speak to reporters during a ceremony of the resumption of Oil Production in Unity Oilfields on 21 Jan 2019 (ST photo)
Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, flanked by his Sudanese counterpart speak to reporters during a ceremony of the resumption of Oil Production in Unity Oilfields on 21 Jan 2019 (ST photo)

February 19, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudanese Water Resources and Irrigation Sophia Pal Gai accused The Minister of Petroleum of Republic of South Sudan Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth of interfering in the activities of her ministry.

In a complaint letter dated on 18 February to the President Salva Kiir, seen by Sudan Tribune, Gai denounced the “unacceptable activities” of Minister Gatkuoth pointing that he was supplying water facilities to in various areas of Juba, Northern Liech and Ruweng states without coordination with her ministry.

In September 2018, Malaysian oil company Petronas launched the first phase of its Water for Life project in Block 4 Gudele West, in the South Sudanese capital Juba. The project benefits more than 40,000 residents around Juba.

The project which is part of a Petronas’ corporate social responsibility commitment was implemented in collaboration with the oil ministry and Nile Hope, a South Sudan national NGO that undertakes the construction of water facilities.

Referring to the water facilities in Palouch, Minister Gai said Minister Gatkuoth once the project is implemented he claimed that the project as his “donation to the communities”.

“The result that this has portrayed my Ministry in a bad shade with the general public thinking that we are not able to provide water supply services to the people despite the fact that it is our constitutional mandate,” she further stressed.

The minister called on President Kiir’s intervention “to restore order and ensure that government institutions are required to follow their constructional mandates and endeavour where activities overlap”.

Oil companies used to implement community development programmes and services projects including schools hospitals to the population in the oil production areas and other parts to facilitate their acceptance and integration.

(ST)