National, News

Chamber of Commerce challenges new water price

By Malek Arol

Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce Chairperson, challenges acting Juba mayor for directing tanker operators to increase water price from SSP 800 to SSP 1,300 per barrel.

Robert Pitia argued that the local order was issued without taking into account the situation of the citizens.

“Juba City Council should have consulted other institutions, including those that are concerned with water, to make sure it comes out with a logical decision”, Pitia said.

The Chairperson of Chamber of commerce said the best solution was first to consult the drivers of water tankers to know the profit they get daily.

“Then the acting Mayor sits down to revise his order on a compromise because, at the end of the day, the citizens are the ones suffering” he added.

Juba City authority stated that the Water Tankers Association will be given a combination of National Security personnel and CID officers to monitor its operations in the residential areas.

Acting Mayor Emmanuel Khemis warned that should the citizens temper with the order, they will be dealt with accordingly.

This increment came as a reverse gear to the former Mayor, Michael Lado Allah-Jabu’s order which earlier directed water tankers to lower prices from SSP 1,500 to SSP 800 following a public outcry.

Juba City Council’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Martin Simon Wani signed the new directive.

He states that water tankers will now supply water to the residential areas of Juba at SSP 1,300 per drum, compared to the previous rate of SSP 800 set by the former leadership.

However, the order does not provide any specific motives for the sudden shoot-up of water price.

Tanker operators, in April, increased water price from SSP 1,000 to SSP 1,500, citing depreciation of local currency against US dollar as the reason behind the increment.

Although the then city Mayor, Allah-Jabu, issued an order directing tankers distributing water to reduce the prices for the residents to SSP 800, they dangled at SSP 1000, rejecting further decrease.

However, the order was faced protests by majority of foreign tanker drivers, resulting in a scarcity of water in many residential areas as the suppliers were on strike.

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