National, News

Minister booked for grilling over water

By William Madouk

A lawmaker in the national parliament Samuel Bahuri Loti, has criticized Pal Mai, the minister of water resources and irrigation, for awarding water points management contracts in the city, to private firms.

MP Loti, representing Torit County, Eastern Equatoria State, from the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) said he wants answers why citizens continue to be charged more despite the establishment of a water treatment plant by the government of Japan.

“We may recall that through the generosity of the people of the Republic of Japan, they were able to construct for this city a water treatment plant and distribute this water in different residential areas within the city,” he explained.

He said water tankers used to carry water from the river, but now they are just getting it from the nearby station and charging even more.

“It’s quite disheartening that the citizens of Juba continue to pay the same price that the water tankers used to carry water from the river, and now they are just getting it from the nearby station and yet charged even higher,” he added.

MP Loti claimed that the minister of water assigned some companies to manage these water points instead of the South Sudan Urban Water Corporation.

“In front of me, I have a list of companies assigned by the Minister of Water, Resources, and Irrigation to manage this water, sell it to the water tankers, and actually pay 25% of all the collections,” he noted.

He cited that the docket minister, Pal Mai, contracted Kwang Jack General Trading Company to manage Gudele, Dixon Company Limited for Munuki, and Victory Logistics General Trading for Kator and Lologo.

It includes the Azimus Limited company for Jebel and Mauna residential areas, as well as the 3K Limited firm assigned for Juba town residential areas.

“This is very serious as Honourable Members to see that the gift that has been given to the people of South Sudan is again being used to enrich a few individuals,” he stressed.

“This is not right. As the House, we need to stand by this and ask the Minister of Water and Irrigation to come and explain to this House as to why they have assigned these companies instead of using the water corporation,” he continued.

According to the legislator, Mai should also give the August House a plan as to why the Ministry is not undertaking the distribution of this water to residential areas.

For her part, speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba said the matter is serious and definitely needs a hearing from the Minister of Water.

She urged the lawmaker to write it and present it as a motion before the House.

“If you really want a serious resolution on this, instead of just raising the information, just prepare your motion and give it and present it,” Nunu advised the MP.

In July, the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation ordered the acting mayor of Juba City, Emmanuel Khamis, to revoke his decision to increase the price of water in Juba.

The directive came after the Chief Executive Officer of Juba City Council, Martin Simon, allowed the water traders to sell water to the residential areas in Juba at SSP 1,300 per barrel.

In a statement released, Minister Pal Mai ordered the city council authority to revoke its order immediately.

Mai said his ministry and the South Sudan Urban Water Corporation had not increased the water production cost of SSP 100 per drum of water due to the skyrocketing prices of commodities in the market.


Comments are closed.