By Bida Elly David
Juba City Mayor, Michael Lado Allah-Jabu, has issued a local order, directing tankers distributing water to cut down on prices for residents.
The order that aims at temporarily to regulate water prices in Juba, instructs suppliers to charge at least SSP 800 within the city center and SSP 1,000 in the outskirts.
Water Suppliers had unexpected increased prices, claiming due to the depreciating local currency against the US dollar, but it ignited complaints from city residents.
A drum of water [250 litres] that used to sell for 1,000 SSP in most areas of the city in early April now sells at 1,500 SSP and above.
In the order seen by No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the mayor said the persistent increase in water prices has seriously impacted on the poorest families battling the high cost of living.
He, however, stated that a joint taskforce committee composed of 21 members has been constituted for immediate regulation of the prices with effect from July 1, 2023, to July 31, 2023.
The mayor further asked water consumers or beneficiaries to report any cheating case with full details of the supplier for immediate investigation.
“In exercise of powers conferred upon me by gubernatorial decree No. 50/2021 dated November 19, 2021, of the governor CES read together with Section 57 of the Local Government Act 2009, I, Michael Lado Allah-Jabu, mayor of Juba City Council, do hereby issue this local order for the temporary regulation of water supply prices in Juba,” the order reads.
However, the mayor’s order failed to clarify whether the suppliers would be indirectly compensated by the council through tax exemption or not.
John Moi, a resident of Juba’s Hai Lowkilili, told No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that there is nothing to celebrate, saying there are many orders that have not been effected.
“The mayor has been issuing many orders without implementation while traders, particularly water suppliers, took advantage of fixing prices. This order may suffer,” he noted.
Moi added that for positive transformation and civil trust, the mayor, in his order through the joint taskforce, should take serious measures against suppliers who are found violating the orders.
He slammed the national and state governments for failing to execute the extension of water pipelines to citizens’ doorsteps in every residential area at a lower cost.
The concerned citizen further criticized authorities for leaving foreign traders to monopolize business in South Sudan.
Recently, prices of commodities, including water, have drastically increased due to the fluctuation in the foreign exchange market, exacerbated by the Sudan war.
Following the worsening hyperinflation, citizens across Juba began raised alarms after water tanker operators hiked prices, claiming they use hefty amount for fuel and expensive spare parts.