Juba residents raise alarm over chocking garbage

Juba residents raise alarm over chocking garbage
A heap of garbage seen along Juba International Airoprt Road in Tongpiny | Picture Supplied

Juba residents have expressed concerns over the heaps of garbage littering the city. They are accusing the Juba City Council of doing little to control the dumping of garbage on the streets.

Several people who spoke to The City Review said despite collecting money from the traders, the Juba City Council had failed to fulfil its promises of maintaining and keeping Juba clean.

Lillian Kiden, a resident of Hai Mauna who also sells fruits and water at the custom market, said the Juba City Council has been collecting money from the traders in the name of keeping Juba clean, but the traders do not know where the money is being used.

According to Kiden, the city council often collects garbage fees from the shops in the markets, restaurants, and other places, including some individuals. But the dividends are yet to be seen.

“Do you know what is happening here? I tell you, Juba City Council is disturbing traders every day by collecting the garbage fees from shop to shop, where some used to pay from SSP5,000 to SSP 7,000 per month depending on the size of the shop,”  Kiden told The City Review on Wednesday.

She said the filth in the country’s capital sends a negative message about South Sudan to visitors.

“If you want to keep your place clean, you have to pay those street boys for them to collect the waste from your place. To make it worse, the same people you pay to carry the garbage away will collect some from somewhere and bring it to your place for you to pay them again,” she revealed.

However, another resident, who identified himself as Kenneth, called on the Central Equatoria State government to provide more trucks for garbage collection.

He said the heaps of garbage on the streets of Juba and residential areas are spoiling the’s reputation.

“They have been collecting money from us but after paying that money to them, [we still] have to pay some boys to collect the garbage in front of [our] shops,” he said.

“At least some of us can ask questions, but [what] about our brothers from other countries? “[They] will not ask questions because doing so cause [them] problems,” Kenneth protested.

Another Juba resident, who preferred anonymity for fear of reprisal, blamed the government for the lack of waste management.

“The garbage can stay for a long time and can produce a bad smell, and at the same time, there are people selling vegetables just next to the waste,” he said.

Plot hatched

In December 2021, the former Mayor of Juba City Council, Kalisto Lado Faustino, promised the public that Juba City would be free of garbage.

“We believe [that] keeping Juba clean, green, and safe will be an achievement, we will be free of the garbage soon in Juba City,” Lado said last year.

On the same day, the Director of Environment and Sanitation for Juba City Council, Gasim Ibrahim, said the collection of garbage in every street and within residential areas would be a daily routine assigned to the authorities of Juba City Council.

“This is what we are doing every day, and it is our work as the authorities of Juba City Council to make sure that the streets and residential areas remain clean,” said Ibrahim.

Following his removal, Juba City deputy mayor for finance and planning, Solomon Pitia, promised to continue with the former mayors’ projects, which include a campaign to keep Juba clean.

“We work as an institution, and in any institution, anyone can implement the plans and projects, meaning whoever remains here will implement the projects that are in the pipe.”

“We are going to continue with the exercise of reorganisation of markets, which includes demolitions. We are going to continue with the keep Juba clean and green campaign and many other projects,” deputy mayor Pitia said.

However, he said keeping Juba clean is the responsibility of everybody, not just the Juba City Council.