The South Sudan National Parliament yesterday voted a motion to summon three national ministers over acute shortage of clean and safe drinking water in the Republic of South Sudan.
In a motion presented by Hon. Paul Youane Bonju over the situation, three-quarter of the parliamentarians voted to summon the Ministers of; Water Resources and Irrigation, Commerce, Trade and Investment and the Minister of Environment.
According to Yoane’s motion, availability of clean and safe drinking water in South Sudan has remained a challenge since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, (CPA) and establishment of the then Government of Southern Sudan, (GOSS.)
He said that the current water network in the country remains the same as It was installed in 1937 to provide water to the colonial official’s in-charge of the then government, adding that the Ministry of Water including other responsible institutions on the matter are still following the same trend.
The South Sudanese Capital, Juba according to Yoane requires 135,000 cubic meters per capita for daily consumption. However, 7,200 cubic meters per capita is only being pumped.
Juba, the national capital of South Sudan has no specialized water laboratory to ascertain the water quality at least to meet the World Health Organization Standard, (WHO.)
“This is a serious matter that our technocrats could have picked as priority number one right after the independence on 9th July 2011,” said Yoane.
“The incumbent Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation has never ever invited our President for any inaugural celebration of even a single borehole anywhere in South Sudan, be it before or after independence,” Yoane added.
He also pointed out that, the South Sudan Urban Water Corporation (SSUWC) was allocated South Sudan Pounds 58,000,000 in the national budget allocation of 2010. However, it has never executed its role effectively.
Thus, the House adopted the motion after been seconded and that the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation with the other Ministers of, Commerce and Trade and that of Environment give a statement before the House on the acute clean shortage of drinking water supply in the country.
The Minister of Water presents an up-date plan on the performance of Non Governmental Organizations, (NGOs) involved in the water sector. He should also present to the House a full financial report on the remittances from water collection since 2005/11 besides policies for corporation with NGOs operating in the water field.
The Minister of Water and Commerce, Trade and Investment should also update the House on whether they negotiate with companies involved in water services on ways of lowering water prices in the country by looking at the possibility of tax reduction.
The three Ministers that will appear before parliament next week on Monday will have to convince the House on the challenges of the matter.
The Opposition has challenged the ruling party on allocating much of the national budget which is about 70% to salaries rather than provision of basic services to the infant nation.