By Bida Elly David
The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation in collaboration with the city council has set a plan to reduce charges for the water supply per barrel following the inauguration of the new water treatment plant in Juba stating that there will be no extra charges against households.
This statement transpired following the launch the of water plant in response to complaints concerning supply of water to areas without guarantee of safety and purification.
Speaking during the event yesterday, Pal Mai Deng, the national minister of water resources and irrigation said that water suppliers have severally been charging citizens high amount of money per barrel without any comprise.
“The delivery of this water is done by blue tanker trucks which are privately owned and this contributes to high cost of safe and clean drinking water in the city. At times, we tell these blue tankers’ drivers to reduce water prices, they use anger of strike as tool of psychological intimidation and threats for us not to control them,” Mai added.
He said that his ministry jointly with the office of the mayor as well as the water urban cooperation shall issue an order declaring reduction of water tank charges to certain amount as a mechanism for citizens to benefit from the initiated project.
“With this new water treatment plant, the quality water supply has increased and the stations have moved closer to the people and for this reason as it was said by the previous speaker, there is need now for reduction of water prices delivered by water tank trucks. I have discussed this month with the urban water corporation, mayor of Juba city and CES deputy governor and we are working to make sure price of water is reduced,” he said.
He said that two other partners apart from JICA are currently undertaking construction of water facilities as a way to mitigate shortage of water and its safety for the citizens.
“ICRC in Gumbo is now constructing a water plant with a production capacity of 10,000 cubic meters and KFW and German development bank has also funded another water facility with another production capacity of 4,650 cubic meters in Lologo through UNICEF which is yet to be handed over to the government,” he said.
He said that this is an indicator that there is an on-going improvement of water service delivery in the city of Juba in exception of household connection being a major challenge to all.
Minister Deng said that the cost of water against the citizens is in total dictation of their standard of living as many poor families struggle to put bread on their table.
However, comments from the Mayor and the urban water supply could not be gathered due to lack of chance granted to them.