Home | News    Monday 27 April 2015

South Sudan capital hit by drinking water shortages


April 26, 2015 (JUBA) – Residents in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, say there is no clean drinking water in the city which serves as the seat of the government, citing scarcity of bottled water as the cause.

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Displaced people wash their clothes in a drainage canal at Tomping camp, in the South Sudan capital, Juba, on 7 January 2014 (Photo: Reuters/James Akena)

Since the independence, the country including its national capital still lacks clean drinking water as over 90% of the city dwellers depend on water for drink from the River Nile. Only about 10% have access to running tape water or bottled water.

However, residents say it has recently become difficult to find bottled water from the shops in the city and that traders had also resorted to rationing the water.

“Life is grinding to a halt here in Juba. Bottled water is becoming a scarce commodity in the market. Yesterday (Saturday) I had to move to several shops before getting a couple of bottles. This evening, it was even worse. I got a shop with 20 bottles of 1.5 litres and paid for all but the shop keeper returned my money and said he would only sell one bottle for one person,” said a Juba resident.

He also said people wanted to resort to drinking unclean water from the river, adding that fetching the water was also difficult as water tankers which are mainly driven by foreign traders hardly find fuel in order to operate.

He said besides the need for water to drink and cook with, other concerns including hygiene were being factored in.

“This means taking shower [for] hygiene purposes and to go for work, getting public transport and water for cooking at homes will be a little far from the reach of the ordinary citizens in town,” he added.

Traders who manufacture bottled water on the other hand blamed the situation on scarcity of fuel and hard currency such as US dollars in order to purchase raw materials used for production, forcing some factories to shut down.

Nelson Achiek, manager of Cool Water Factory, told the UN-run Miraya FM radio that the company he ran was the only one still in business as his competitors have halted production, warning that even his company may be forced to shut down.

“In actual sense I will not afford to supply all of them but the little that have I will serve whoever needs water. I will give all that I produce because per day I am producing 3000. We are just eyeing on government to do something because it is something beyond our capacity,” he said.

Dollar exchange rate has sharply risen to nearly 10 South Sudanese pounds (SSP) per one dollar as the country has exhausted is foreign reserves while production of oil has reduced due to the ongoing war.

The young nation imports most of commodities including fuel from the neighbouring countries.


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  • 27 April 2015 04:38, by Black Africa

    I can’t believe that our beloved country is collapsing in our own eyes due to the greed of power. Local people can’t have access to water. Water is life, without water no life. If I was president, I would have resign for the sake of my people. May God bless South Sudan.

    repondre message

    • 27 April 2015 06:50, by Joseph Canada

      Black Africa,the country is going down.. This is what we get when we have those lucking Education, tribal and greed lead our nation. We fought together, we voted together but after that, it became the bread place for one man.. Their families are enjoying the national wealth from other countries. Married to Non country men so they can wire the money in their kids accounts. Poor citizens of SS.

      repondre message

  • 27 April 2015 10:12, by Ambago

    The problem reported here seems to be mostly affecting the upper class who drinks bottled water and yet these are the very people who run the government machinery. So what are they doing for themselves ?

    If those propping up this corrupt government can’t even get it to provide them with drinking water and yet they can’t think of replacing it, then the problem is no longer with the government!

    repondre message

  • 27 April 2015 10:34, by Mr Point

    What is more important to Kiir’s government: staying in power, or using that power to give the people of South Sudan the services they need?

    You know what the answer is.

    repondre message

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