By Deng Machol
Juba – The Juba Electricity Distribution Company has announced plans to cut off power supply starting Tuesday in South Sudan’s capital city of Juba’s capital of the East African’s youngest nation.
The city is going back to darkness as the management of the company (JEDCO) announces total blackout, says the power halt will start Tuesday until further notice.
In a public statement released on Sunday, the electricity distributor claims that the South Sudan government has “not been able to provide the foreign currency required to make long-overdue payments for the bulk energy” they get from Ezra Construction and Development Group.
Ezra Group of companies built a first electricity power and is operating the 100 Megawatts Power Plant in Juba.This was a first electricity power built in Juba since the country gained her independence from Sudan in July 2011.
The government of South Sudan is expected to take over the power plant in the future according to the agreement.
The Juba City Power Distribution System was constructed with the support of the African Development Bank which provided $38 million.
While launching the power plant a year ago, President Salva Kiir said South Sudan shall be connected to a 400 KV line interconnecting Karuma in Uganda and Juba by 2023. Kiir further said the country will also develop its hydropower resources –mainly in Fulla in Nimule.
“Juba Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (JEDCO) regrets to inform all its customers that it has been forced to halt electricity supplies starting the morning of Tuesday, January 12, 2021, until further notice,” the statement said.
Despite that, JEDCO says it is working with stakeholders to resolve the problem to resume normal services.The electricity distribution company has so far connected 9,990 households, 3,550 businesses, and 200 governmental institutions to the grid.The company says it will resume supplying electricity once the issue of foreign currency has been resolved.
The Juba government is yet to respond to this matter, but the observers also call on the government to release some foreign currency to the company so that the city wouldn’t go back total darkness.