SHOCK AS POWER SHUTDOWN LOOMS IN THE CITY
With Odongo Odoyo
One can be shocked over the expected power shutdown in Juba and its environs. This is a project which had brought light and more expectation to the residents of the city that crime and other form of ill activities were already put aside or reduced. There comes a time when the truth must be said and this onus rest with the two companies that have been in the forefront of the power supply. They must understand the plight they are putting the country in and they must understand that their interests should not surpass the interests of the general public. Indeed, the residents had started feeling good with most of them running back home early because they would enjoy the products of having electricity. Why they want to take us back to the past is not understood and if it is payment, this is a national issue which could not be handled lukewarmly or in a day or two unless there is something sinister about the whole deal. The funding bank has come out with self-explanatory statement which the public ought to know and understand to exactly find out for themselves what has been going on.
Official Statement by the African Development Bank Country Office for South Sudan
This statement is to inform the general public that the African Development Bank Group is not involved in any decision-making regarding power shedding in Juba, South Sudan’s capital city.
The African Development Bank Group wishes to clarify that the Bank has played no direct role in power generation in Juba and is not involved in any matters concerning the operation and maintenance of the electricity distribution networks in South Sudan.
The Bank funded the USD 38 million expansion and rehabilitation of the electricity distribution network in Juba. The project was primarily financed through a grant. It was implemented by the South Sudan Electricity Corporation, which is the power utility created by the government. The Corporation falls under South Sudan’s Ministry of Energy and Dams.
On being commissioned in 2019, the African Development Bank-funded project significantly helped to restore electricity supply in the central business district. It has brought electricity to Juba homes, businesses, educational institutions and hospitals. In addition, more than 1,667 of the city’s streetlights are now functional, facilitating night movement and contributing to crime prevention.
The African Development Bank remains committed to working with the South Sudanese government and other development partners to facilitate the provision of reliable electricity supply to Juba’s central business district and suburbs.
The Bank envisages a range of socioeconomic benefits arising directly and indirectly from this project. They include reduced cost of doing business and improved service delivery in education and health facilities.
Since the African Development Bank commenced operations in South Sudan in 2012, it has funded 12 operations. They cover various sectors, including power, agriculture, health, water and sanitation, education and governance. The Bank’s current active portfolio in South Sudan has financial commitments of about USD 131.18 million.”