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Cut off by floods, human, livestock health remain dire in Unity state

By Chondok Stephen Magei

Despite a respite in the floods in the country, communities living around the oil fields in Unity State continue to suffer from ill health including diarrhoea as a result of drinking contaminated water.

And their livestock too are facing the same fate.

In Jaak Payam near Tharjiath oilfield in Koch County, the health situation is dire, the Head Chief, Gatuor Wuor Chuthnguol told Juba Echo by phone.

“We are drinking from a swampy area close to oil chemicals and the flood water has been mixed with chemicals from the main Tharjath oilfield,” Chuthnguol said.

“Our main problem is diarrhea on children, vomiting and even people develop small wounds. About more 383 cattle have died last month and this week 49 cattle have died, and this is because of flooding impacts,” he said.

Request made to the main oil company operating Tharjiath, Sudd Petroleum Operating (SPOC) to fence the chemical products and construct strong dykes to prevent chemicals flowing into the water points, have not yet been responded to, Chuthnguol said.

Acess to health facilities remain difficult due to bad or flooded roads, Jaak Payam administrator, Kai Koang Changath said.

“Flooding cut off the road to Bentiu and road to Koch, so it’s even difficult for sick person to get medication because health partners have no access to Jaak Payam due to roads being submerged by flood water,” Changath said.

“We are drinking water from a swampy area near the oil field,” he said adding that maintenance of boreholes which broke down are impossible because of the floods.

“I call upon SPOC to provide a mobile clinic and provide antivenom as snake bites, increase,” Changath added.

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