Monday, 21 November 2016

SOUTH SUDAN: Fuel Shortage And Insecurity Drive Away Visitors

The cost of petrol and diesel has skyrocketed over the past days, nearly tripling the prices as no fresh supplies are expected any time soon.

The recent devaluation of the South Sudanese Pound, and generally empty coffers at the country's central bank, are thought to be the main factors behind the current surge of petrol prices in the capital Juba and across the country.

This has also affected the cost of transport across the country and promptly driven prices of food higher too, as fresh produce now is almost impossible to transport to the main consumer markets when the trucks lack fuel.

Relying still largely on the income from oil, greatly reduced income due to lower global commodity prices and the impact of lesser production as a result of the ongoing conflict in the country, has South Sudan's security situation not allowed other cash cows to mature, such as tourism.

Several national parks await visitors and while there are hardly any lodges are camps put up by expedition operators such as Bahr el Jebel, the presently only licensed company to operate in South Sudan, to accommodate guests while inside a national park to see the often impressive game numbers.

With regional and international opinion however more and more divided over the scope and method of intervention to keep the two warring sides apart is no early relief in sight as yet as the local economy is grinding more and more to a halt and barter trading has re-emerged in many parts of the country due to lack of money or the declining value of the currency.
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