March 6, 2011 (JUBA) – The price of bottled water in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, has doubled in recent weeks.
Half litre bottles of drinking water, initially priced at one Sudanese Pound (USD 0.37) now costs two Sudanese Pounds - SDG (USD 0.37).
Local companies operating in South Sudan have attributed the recent hike in water prices to shortages being experienced across the semi-autonomous region. The development comes less than two months after the region overwhelming voted for its independence due in July.
“Our supply of water has remained constant. What we are experiencing now is due to inadequate supply of water which used to come from neighboring Uganda. It is wrong for the public to blame us for all these happenings,” an official from Aqua Fontana, only identified as Mohammad told Sudan Tribune in an interview.
Most retail shops in Juba town had run out of water by Friday but those who still had stocks from previous bulk purchases were reaping rewards from the crisis.
While local manufacturers blamed the saga on inadequate supplies, some sections of the population have blamed officials from the ministry of commerce, trade and supplies for failing to adequately address the situation.
“If a whole region, which will soon gain its independence can fail to grapple with problems of such a magnitude, what it likely to happen in case much bigger issues arise? I think the ministry of commerce and trade should be realistic,” John Malik, a business consultant told Sudan Tribune.
John Pan Paguir, director general of trade at the commerce, trade and supplies ministry was not available to comment on the water shortage on Sunday.