Effects of oil production activities on the socioeconomic wellbeing of communities living in greater unity, South Sudan
Thor, Bill Yaul
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Oil is a major resource for South Sudan and it provides 98 % of the government’s revenue. At independence in 2011, the revenue from the oil was meant to provide for developments and improve on the lives of the local people. This has not occurred so far, as the communities are still poor and their lives have been impacted negatively by the oil production activities that have polluted the environment. Majority of the studies have researched on the amount of revenue accrued from the oil, the different uses the oil revenues have been put into but none have looked at the influence of these oil production activities on the wellbeing of the communities living around the oilfields in Greater Unity States. The objectives of the study were to assess the influence of Oil Company’s Community Social Responsibility (CSR), environmental impacts arising from oil resource production and involuntary displacement due to oil production on the socioeconomic wellbeing of the households. The study targeted households within a 10 km radius of five Oilfields of Munga, Toma South, Elnaar, Toor and Unity oilfield in Greater Unity of South Sudan an accessible population of 25,000 households. A stratified random sample of 378 households was interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Five Focus Group Discussions one for each of the oil fields were conducted to triangulate the household data. Descriptive (frequency distributions, means and standard deviation) and inferential (regression analysis and ANOVA) statistics were used to analyse the data at 95 % level of confidence. Cronbach’s alpha was used to determine the reliability of multi-indicator variables. The socioeconomic wellbeing of the households in the study area was found to be 4.82 (Low) on a scale of 1-10. The socioeconomic wellbeing of the households in Greater Unity State was found to be positively influenced by corporate social responsibility (β .989, p=, 001) and negatively by environmental impacts from oil production (β - .848, p=, 001) and involuntary displacement from land (β -.896, p=, 001). The following recommendations were made: the oil firms need to enhance CSR that improve the welfare of individual households, the government to improve on the monitoring and evaluation of the oil firms environmental management activities and ensure direct compensation to affected households in terms of land loss or pollution impacts. The study has implication in creating awareness of the plight of the households near the oilfields and what the oil firms and the government can be able to do to alleviate the problem.
Africa Nazarene University