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Water prices saga: Acting Juba mayor ordered to revoke increment

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Thursday, July 20, 2023

Mauna residents cue at a water tap as water tankers protest fixed price by Juba City Council. | Photo: File

The Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Thursday ordered the Acting Mayor of Juba to reverse his previous decision giving water tankers the greenlight to hike prices.

On July 13, 2023, Acting Mayor Emmanuel Khamis Richard issued a local order permitting water tankers to sell drums of water according to their previous demand.

The order permits the sale of a drum of water at 1,300 South Sudanese pounds – a decision previously protested by Juba residents.

“In response to the directive from Acting Mayor H.W. Emmanuel Khamis to increase the water prices in Juba City, the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation ordered the revocation of the said circular,” reads a press statement signed by Minister Pal Mai Deng.

Minister Mai said the reversal order must also be in compliance with the letter of Central Equatoria State Acting Governor Hon. Sarah Nene, who has reportedly directed the Acting Mayor of Juba City Council to reverse his directives.

Acting Governor Nene “ordered that the water prices be reverted back to previous prices of SSP 1000 and SSP 800 for longer and shorter distances to the filling station respectively.”

The South Sudan Urban Water Corporation previously said it was not consulted on the recent water tariff increment imposed by the Acting Mayor of Juba.

In May 2023, some Juba residents decried high water prices, despite the installation of a multi-million-dollar mega water plant in the city.

Water suppliers currently refill their tanks from designated points at 3,000 pounds and resale at 1,000 pounds per drum.

But some of the residents told Eye Radio, the water sellers have increased the amount to 1,500 pounds per drum.

According to the locals, the water tank drivers claim they raised the price due to the depreciation of the pound against the dollar.

This has forced the state and municipal authorities to regulate water prices and ordered water distributors in the city to withdraw the unilateral decision. The dismissed Juba City Council also threatened to take strict measures against water tanker drivers.

 

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