Kuajok market runs out of food stocks

Warrap State’s Kuajok municipality has run out of food stocks, the acting mayor has said.

Mayor Aurala Nyanruon told Radio Tamazuj on Monday that the consumer commodities were no longer available in the municipal market, the main supplier for all the Warrap counties. She said the state residents and their neighbors were facing challenges purchasing whatever little was available because of the US dollar exchange rate which affected imports.

“The Kuajok main market has run out of most stocks. The few food commodities available were insufficient for the entire Warrap State,” she said.

Nyanruon identified the causes of the shortage as including a lack of unified tax policies among the municipal council, the Ministry of Trade and the revenue authorities and the instability of the local currency against the US dollar.

“We have investigated this unavailability of food commodities and our finding was that traders complained of the high US dollar rate against the South Sudan pound that raised the cost of imports from Uganda and Kenya and even Juba. At least some items like maize flour, beans and rice were in the market, but at prices ranging from or SSP90,000 to SSP130,000,” Nyanruon added.

The Mayor said that although they were not the tax collection agency, they were mandated to control prices in the market for the people of Kuajok town to afford the food items.

Nyanruon said that different institutions with different tax laws made it difficult to control the prices. She cited that they had tried to approach Trade and Industry ministry and the revenue authority to exempt food items, but the two entities had different regimes, which do not comply with the Kuajok Municipal Council policy.

The Director General in the Warrap State’s ministry of Trade and Industry, Dut Gop, said the exemption applied only to locally-produced food items.

Gop acknowledged the decline in suppliers attributable to the dollar exchange rate, but tipped the traders to combine forces to afford the cost of importation. He said two, three or even five traders could hire a truck to bring them goods.

Some of the Kuajok residents said they were finding it hard to put food on the table. Achol Majok suggested that the people should talk more about the economic hardships to attract interventions.

Dawud Dau said the living conditions in Kuajok town were worrying due to the skyrocketing prices of food commodities.