JCC waves red flag over random deaths of homeless in markets

By William Madouk 

Fear has gripped Juba City Chamber of Commerce as the death run amok around the main markets in Juba, with 24 people recorded dead within a duration of two months.

According to Juba City Chamber of Commerce, twenty-four people who are believed to be destitute people have been dying in alarming rates in the markets.

Stephen Wani Aquilino, the Chairperson of Juba City Chamber of Commerce, said those people reportedly died in Jebel and Konyo-Konyo market respectively.

“From January up to now, we have lost 8 people in Jebel market – majority are South Sudanese with only one foreigner who hail from Uganda” Aquilino said yesterday.

“In Konyo-Konyo we also lost 16 people – 4 women and 12 men which brings the total to 24 people within period of two months” he added.

He raised alarm about the high influx of homeless people in the markets, who survived on the leftovers and minor labours in markets.

The chair of business organization said the causes of their death is not established, however assumed that it could be due to intoxication, ingesting of illicit drugs, or cruel situation they are living-in such as heat, cold among others.

Mr. Aquilino said, as the Chamber of Commerce they face multiple challenges especially when a person died in market just to be discovered after day/s, still processes take long before corpse is taken.   

“Sadly, we in Chamber of Commerce do face challenges because sometimes a person died in the market to be discovered one or two days later and for concerned authority to do their procedures it takes long,” he lamented.

“Some of the corpses do even decay and send out horrible odour because procedures took long which is something dangerous in business environment like market” he continued.

Aquilino appealed to the state authorities especially ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare at state and national level to directly intervene and resolve concern of destitute people living in the markets.  

“We urge the concerned authorities, especially ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, government of Central Equatoria state and partners to swiftly intervene and do assessment of homeless people, study their background and find solutions” he urged.

While matter of homeless people cannot be solved once and for all, he hinted that at least risk can be curtailed, adding that if put in designated houses then organizations and well-wishers can support them.

“So, if ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare organize these people I think these organization and well-wishers can intervene to support them” Wani said.

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