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YEI RIVER - 13 Apr 2018

Residents in Yei town demand sustainable power supply

YECO light pole in Yei town (Radio Tamazuj).jpg
YECO light pole in Yei town (Radio Tamazuj).jpg

Local residents in South Sudan’s Yei border town are demanding constant and sustainable power supply in all residential areas of the town after experiencing fluctuations in power supply.

In January, Yei Electricity Company YECO resumed power supply in the town after nearly two years of lack of power due to fuel shortages and rampant insecurity in the state since 2016.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, Dany Toti a resident of Yei town said electricity is the main driving force for economic activities as well as for security purposes.

 “If there is stable and continuous power at night hours, thieves and killers will fear to attack people and their properties. I am calling on the government, residents and community leaders to sit down and decide on the way forward on the proper usage and management of the power facility,” he said.

Another resident who preferred to be identified only as Moses said the government should consider privatizing the company for effective service delivery. 

 “I am of the view that let the state and county government sit down and look into proper management of the power plant and if they are not able to manage then it should be handed over to someone who is financially capable to deliver electricity to the people of Yei town,” he suggested.

For his part, Maliamungu Bosco, a member of the management board of YECO accused the government and public for failing to settle huge arrears to the company as well over taxation by government as some of the challenges they face.

“A cooperative entity like this is not supposed to be taxed by the government because it is helping the community. We are also demanding huge millions of South Sudanese pounds from the government and public which was supposed to be paid before the crisis could hit Yei,” he said.

“Also one bad thing is that the government arrested and detained some of our staff for disconnecting their offices and if we need to move forward, we should avoid the military and traditional approaches to handling things,” he added.

Bosco said the facility is a community utility and should not be transferred to private investors.

He appealed to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), a USA Company that installed the power plant in Yei to extend a three months financial support to the facility so that it can offer quality services to the people.