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Yei - 5 Nov 2021

Yei traders count losses after heavy rains

Iron sheet roofs were blown off by high winds in Yei. Radio Tamazuj photo.
Iron sheet roofs were blown off by high winds in Yei. Radio Tamazuj photo.

Traders in Yei Town of Yei River County in Central Equatoria State are counting losses after torrential rains coupled with a raging storm destroyed buildings and blew off the roofs of more than ten shops on Thursday afternoon.

The town’s residents said the heavy rain which lasted for more than three hours was accompanied by high winds and thunderstorms which brought down trees and plucked iron sheets off buildings.

Alex Taban, a Dar-el-salam market trader, told Radio Tamazuj that the affected buildings included some permanent and semi-permanent shops on Dar-el-salam Street, Bank of South Sudan Street, and Jamia and Sobe streets in the Central Business District of Yei town.

Counting bags of soaked maize and cassava flour from his food stores, Taban said he lost goods worth over 800,000 SSP to the heavy downpour.

“The heavy rain destroyed very many shops in the market and I can confirm to you that along the Sobe Street, over five permanent shops had their roofs blown off and others temporary structures collapsed along the street of the Central Bank,” Taban said. “Many of us are affected with a lot of losses, more especially us who are dealing in cassava and maize flour. For me, goods worth 800,000 SSP are damaged and I don’t know how to start my business again.”

He appealed to the government and the chamber of commerce to attract investors who can construct a modern and permanent market square in Yei town so that traders can operate in a secure space.

Another trader, Amos Dickson, said the heavy downpour destroyed his small retail shop on Sobe Street.

“The rain was so heavy and I cannot tell how it has affected the whole town but I can tell you that it destroyed many items in my shop and I have never witnessed such rain in Yei town”

Edward Luba, the chairperson of the chamber of commerce in Yei River County, confirmed that the roofs from over ten permanent buildings were blown off and said even though no one was hurt, many losses were incurred.

“For now I can say over ten buildings (roofs) have been blown off, some iron sheets were also blown off and the good thing is that no one was injured,” Luba said. “All the buildings in Yei are very old, some of the buildings were built in 1983 and a town like Yei should not operate under poor and old structures. Because of the conflict, people lack resources and money to construct nice and modern buildings in Yei town.”