South Sudan: Oil industry pollutes people's drinking water

In the north of South Sudan, the oil industry around the Malaysian state-owned company Petronas is contaminating people's drinking water. The heavy metals, chemicals and salts used in the extraction and processing of crude oil find their way into the organisms of the population. Here you will find graphics, information, maps and pictures of our research.

Here you will find all the important facts about Sign of Hope e.V. at a glance.


  • Scientific article published in the Business and Human Rights Journal (2023)

    Corporate Social Irresponsibility, an Elastic Wall, and a Fragile State: Sign of Hope’s Unfinished Quest to Mitigate Human Rights Violations in South Sudan (Kinderman, Stieglitz, Almairac).

  • Written statement 2021

    Calculation of environmental contamination from oil production in South Sudan 1999 - 2020

  • Written statement 2020

    Series of oil pipeline ruptures in South Sudan – detection of oil spills and contaminated areas.

  • Written statement 2019

    The human rights situation in South Sudan - oil and the contamination of drinking water.

  • Written statement 2017

    The human rights situation in South Sudan - oil-caused contamination and its effects upon humans and the environment.

  • Report on environmental pollution from pipeline ruptures in South Sudan

    Results report of February 25, 2020 on satellite-based monitoring activities of Sign of Hope e.V. on massive oil pollution caused by several pipeline ruptures in South Sudan.

  • Factsheet: Chronology of the poison scandal

  • Factsheet: Petronas poisons people in South Sudan

  • Factsheet: Petronas and Daimler AG in close partnership

  • Examination of hair samples from residents in the petroleum area of South Sudan

    Examination of hair samples from residents in the petroleum area of South Sudan for environmental exposure to toxic metals by Prof. Dr. Fritz Pragst, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Charité Berlin.

  • Scientific article published in the Central Journal of Geology and Paleontology (2014)

    Effect of oil exploration and production on the salinity of a marginally permeable aquifer system in the Thar Jath, Mala and Unity Oilfields, Southern Sudan (Rüskamp, Ariki, Stieglitz, Treskatis).

  • Hair sample analysis study

    In a study published in Forensic Science International in 2017, Sign of Hope and a team of scientists were able to prove the link between oil pollution and the exposure of residents in the Thar Jath oil area.

  • Open letter to Daimler AG

    Open letter dated March 18, 2016 to Dr. Dieter Zetsche and Daimler AG.

  • Press conference on 18.05.2017: Pictures of speakers

    Klaus Stieglitz, Vice Chairperson of Sign of Hope, and Prof. Dr. Fritz Pragst, Institute of Forensic Medicine at Charité Berlin, at the press conference.

  • People affected by drinking water pollution

    Some affected people from Koch, for whom poisoning from oil waste has been proven by analysis of hair samples.

  • Infographic "Drinking water pollution in South Sudan"

    South Sudan/Unity State: Simplified illustration of the relationship between oil production, drinking water pollution and poisoning of people.

  • Drinking water contamination South Sudan: Affected area

    The Thar Jath oil field is located in the Unity sub-state in northern South Sudan.

  • Drinking water contamination South Sudan: Water sampling results

    The drinking water from the hand wells in the villages contains heavy metals, salts and chemicals originating from oil production. The closer the sampling point is to the oil field, the higher the contamination of the water.

  • Drinking water contamination South Sudan: Results of hair analyses

    The polluted water from the village wells has a direct impact on people's health. Hair analyses of local residents show a high load of harmful substances such as lead in their organisms.

  • Drinking water pollution South Sudan: Photo selection

    In this download you will find a selection of images for free use. The images are from the villages and oil production areas in Unity State and show affected people, oil production facilities and oil ponds, sampling and deep and hand wells.

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