Lakes state, News

High prices pinch Rumbek residents

By Yang Ater Yang


Residents of Rumbek Town, Lakes State, are grappling with soaring commodity prices, amid runaway inflation across the country.

Food and other essential items have become significantly more expensive in Rumbek market causing hardship for residents. This has raised concerns among authorities.

Over the weekend, Lakes State Minister of Trade and Industry, Rebecca Enock Machuoc convened a meeting with business representatives to address the issue.

She acknowledged the challenges posed by the rising dollar rate and tariffs but urged traders to limit price increases to 5% and avoid exceeding reasonable margins.

The minister announced that a high-level committee will be formed to monitor market prices.

“We are thankful for peace and security, but we also need security in the market,” said Minister Machuoc, emphasising the need for affordable goods.

Malok Marial Kuctiel, Chairperson of the Lakes State Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture, and Industry, acknowledged the difficulties faced by businesses due to the dollar rate and customs charges.

He stressed their commitment to working with the government to find solutions.

The rising dollar rate against pounds and customs charges are blamed by traders for price hikes while the government is being urged to address the dollar rate and support businesses.

A businessman, Mansur Abdharaman, highlighted the drastic impact of the dollar rate on specific items, with sugar prices jumping from 65,000 SSP to 85,000 SSP for a 50kg bag.

He urged the government to address the dollar rate, which he noted as the main driver of price increases, rather than focusing on taxes.

aRumbek resident Piath Deng expressed frustration with the rising prices, stating that everyday items like sugar and soda have become unaffordable on her salary.

“Last week, sugar was 600 SSP, now it’s 800 SSP. You come with 1,000 SSP, you buy nothing. People are suffering” she expressed.

Mrs Deng highlighted the need for government intervention to alleviate the suffering of citizens.

Agum Majok, a businesswoman, voiced the challenges faced by vendors like her.

“We sell small things, but the dollar keeps increasing. We buy fish for 1,500-5,000 SSP, cook it, and sell it, but make no profit due to the high dollar price” she decried.

Agum called on the new mayor of Rumbek Town to support women in business by providing them with a designated market space.

The meeting between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and business unions highlighted the complex factors contributing to price hikes in Rumbek market.

While solutions are proposed, residents hope for concrete action to make essential goods more affordable.

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