Juba returns to ancient darkness as JEDCO begins load-shedding

South Sudan’s capital, Juba is being affected as the nation’s power utility company, JEDCO, has begun load-shedding in certain areas, leaving residents in sombre moods. Earlier this week, the company announced that due to the ongoing shortage of hard currency in the country, JEDCO would have no choice but to conduct a rotating outage in Juba.

“Dear Valued Customers, JEDCO management has been informed by Ezra Construction & Development Group, that because of a lack of foreign currency and lack of commitment from other stakeholders, the power plant is in a critical state and cannot supply power at full capacity as usual. Consequently, JEDCO will be forced to start shedding power starting from midnight, 6 April 2021, until further notice. The affected areas with their respective power outage times are presented in the below table.”

“We once again sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and humbly request your patience and understanding. We’d like to further reassure our customers that JEDCO is working urgently with all the stakeholders to resolve the problem and resume regular services to our esteemed customers.”

On the same development, the African Development Bank distanced itself from the unilateral decision taken by JEDCO and its partner companies, saying that they are no longer responsible for the maintenance, distribution and operation of the electricity.

“This statement is to inform the general public that the African Development Bank Group is not involved in any decision-making regarding power shedding in Juba, South Sudan’s capital city. The African Development Bank Group wishes to clarify that the Bank has played no direct role in power generation in Juba and is not involved in any matters concerning the operation and maintenance of the electricity distribution networks in South Sudan.”

“The Bank funded the USD 38 million expansion and rehabilitation of the electricity distribution network in Juba. The project was primarily financed through a grant. It was implemented by the South Sudan Electricity Corporation, which is the power utility created by the Government.”

“The Corporation falls under South Sudan’s Ministry of Energy and Dams. On being commissioned in 2019, the African Development Bank-funded project significantly helped to restore electricity supply in the central business district. It has brought electricity to Juba homes, businesses, educational institutions and hospitals.”

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