Street lighting returns to Juba
Jale Richard, Juba
After six months of nocturnal darkness, street lighting has returned to the streets of Juba.
The lights are operated by Ezra Group, an Ethiopian power company. The organisation had previously turned off the street lights due to a payment dispute with the South Sudanese government.
Despite this, streets were occasionally lit for major public occasions. Most recently, street lighting was seen during the signing ceremony of the Sudanese peace agreement in October.
However, last night saw regular and widespread street lighting across the capital. It is reported that following a meeting with the Ezra group, governor Emmanuel Adil Anthony directed the company and government officials to devise a payment plan for the lights.
At present it is not clear how much the state government will spend on lighting.
“The governor told us these street lights should be on… the responsibility was not taken by the Juba City Council but now we have agreed for the street lights to be on and give the public service,” said Gabrael Ezra, the managing director of Ezra Group.
In a recent interview, the spokesman of the Central Equatorian Governor’s office said that street light will improve security in Juba.
He noted that “by electrifying Juba specifically the street lights, we are going to minimise issues of insecurity that have been threatening lives of people within in the city”.
This is the first weekend of consistent urban lighting since the contract with Ezra Group was signed last November.