National, News

Top leadership rejects water price increase

By Bida Elly David

National Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, and Central Equatoria State government reject water price increment in Juba city, directed revert to SSP 800 per barrel.

Juba city Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Canon Martin Simon Wani has also been tasked to issue a local order, decreeing water suppliers to adhere to the new directives.

Acting Juba City mayor, Emmanuel Khemis had directed the CEO to sign an order giving water tankers a green light to increase water prices to 1,300 SSP, up from 800 SSP, in the city.

The City Authority stated in its earlier order that Water Tankers operators would be provided with National Security personnel and CID officers to monitor their operations in residential areas.

However, the disputed local order is now null and void.

In the Tuesday twist, Juba City Council CEO immediately responded to the directives of Ministry of water and the state government by revoking the mayor’s order.

He directed all water tankers to immediately reduce prices.

“Compliance with the directives of the national minister of water resources and irrigation and the acting governor of Central Equatoria State for revocation of the decision of HW the Ag/Mayor for the increase of water prices,” the letter reads in part.

Wani also informed water consumers of the agreed prices as directed by the ministry and state government.

“In lieu of this, we write to inform the public and water sellers to sell the water to consumers in Juba city council with SSP 800 in areas close to the water filling stations and SSP 1,000 in the far places,’’ Wani decreed.

The CEO directed the new order to continue to be effective, and the price will be constant until further notice.

“This order shall be effective until a technical committee formed to study and fix pricing completes its task,” Wani said.

Chairperson of the Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce, Robert Pitia on Monday challenged the increment on water price from SSP 800 to SSP 1,300 per barrel.

He argued that the local order was issued without considering the situation of the citizens.

Pitia said the order was issued without consultations with other stakeholders.

Pitia had objected out the order, saying it did not provide any specific motive for the sudden shoot-up in water prices.

Tanker operators had increased water prices in April from SSP 1,000 to SSP 1,500, citing depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar as the reason for the hike.

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 1,000, rejecting further decreases.


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