By Madhieu Thiep Madhieu, Juba, South Sudan
February 7, 2017 (SSB) —- It is my great obligation to have this opportunity to share my piece of writing in relevant to the aforementioned issue that had dismayed and profusely discomforted me beyond description or explanation. The core main of my article is none other than lack of government power supply in our national capital and other main cities in the country. Juba being seat of our central government has never been supplied with government hydro electric power for quiet along time.
Majority of our civil population in the city and other towns resorted to using personal generators in their households as the only means of accessing electricity for their own commercial or private purposes. Government offices and other vital institutions operate with the help of local generators which make the city noisy causing embarrassment to international visitors.
Based on 2013 data, our country has the lowest electricity consumption per capita in the region with only 1% of the country has access to grid electricity, due to low level of power generation and insufficient distribution network. In previous years, 4% of urban areas in South Sudan were connected to power, but later became subjected to load shedding and forced power outrages. Cities like Wau and Malakal were having power during the then Sudan but unfortunately their generators ceased operational immediately after we succeeded from Khartoum in 2011.
Public electricity supply in any nation on earth is a priority number one that needs an urgent attention of every government, but the reverse is true in South Sudan scenario. Our Ministry of electricity doesn’t even seem to know this obvious fact, and had completely failed to deliver the intended service to the citizen especially in Juba capital. Power lines, solar panels and electric poles stood everywhere in Juba streets as statues, while there is no power current running through them. When will government supply hydro electricity in Juba, if these important equipments are installed and left to get spoil without job?
Many Solar panels ended up being collected at night by unknown thieves who escape with impunity, celebrating the little cash they will mobilize from the sold of these free panels. So, what is the role of Ministry of electricity and Dam in the Republic of South Sudan, if the capital city is not connected with power? Does it mean that micro generators owned by individuals are good for our city? Or is it lack of fuel? I still don’t comprehend the sheer scale of this complex situation.
If the matter is lack of fuel, than our country has sufficient quantity of diesel and Nile water that can maintain city power for long, instead of giving chance to micro generators. Failure of the government to provide hydro electricity in the town had contributed to high demand of fuel in Juba in the name of generators. The use of personal generators had made it very hard for security apparatus to locate the position and direction of criminal gun fires, because of noisy environment brought about by the roaring machines.
Electricity could generate some income to the Ministry as well as entire nation if investment in power generation and transmission infrastructure is considered a priority by the government. If households are connected with power, the consumers will pay for it and therefore the use of generators would be null and void. The government together with Ministry of electricity should do something to silence these individuals’ generators and bring public light to city.
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