By Chol Makol Riak
The leaders of Boat Trade Union in Jonglei state said they have suspended the river transport indefinitely after disagreement with the authorities in Awerial County of Lakes state.
Chuol Achiek Adhieu is the Chairman of the Boat Trade Union in Bor, he said the disagreement between the two states of Lakes and Jonglei was over departure time of the boats.
Chuol said that the time they suggested as departure time was 3 p.m. while Awerial authorities did not agree with that time.
“What was agreed was that the passengers would arrive to the river side at 12 pm and get ready for departure at 3 pm because most of the people are not near here all and thus the authorities do not agree,” Chuol said.
He said the authorities at Awerial County do impose charges on boats departing at 2 pm or 3 pm.
“Many people (passengers) come from different places of Jonglei state and some of them move on foot of which they arrive here at around 2 pm and if the boats depart here at 1 pm then they will be left out,” he added.
Meanwhile, Athou Kiir, a passenger who wanted to travel to Awerial said she was stranded at river side as the union suspended the movement of boats travelling to Awerial.
“I came here early in the morning and got stranded here as boats movement is suspended. As you can see my child here has got a burn on his hand and I don’t even know where to sleep because I came from the village,” Athou said.
Athou said the restrictions will negatively affect the travellers. She urged the authorities in Lakes and Jonglei states to find means of understanding themselves so that the transport resumes normally.