By Tapeng Michael Ohure
As peace sets in and people return home, communities in Lainya in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria State are facing an uphill task in reviving business.
Lainya was a scene of heavy conflict between 2016 and 2019, and to date pockets of insecurity still linger.
And because of that, transport cost for commodities to the area is limiting the restart of business.
“We have a serious situation affecting our business here in Lainya,” a businesswoman in Lainya, Charity Siama told Juba Echo.
“We want to start reviving our businesses but the problem is we don’t have the capacity to hire transport means for bringing goods from Juba to Lainya,” Siama said.
Like her, Agnes Imjima Amos also decried the cost of transport.
“Our businesses are doing well but the major problem affecting our business here is transporting goods,” Imjima said.
“We are requesting that the Chamber of Commerce of Central Equatoria State should help us with the means of transport for bringing for us basic commodities like salt, onion, fish, soap and sugar,” she lamented.
According to the Chairman of Chamber of Commerce for Lainya County, Marko Laku Elyaba, fighting in the greater Equatoria stalled business of the people.
“Most shops were destroyed and looted and that is why when you look at most of the shops here in Lainya, they are not full like before,” Elyaba said.
“The biggest challenge now is the issue of transport, if you go to Juba, you will not get the means of bringing goods here in Lainya.”
The Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce in Central Equatoria State, Robert Pitya said resolving the problem in the short run would need setting up a commodity store in Lainya.
Pitya said it would reduce the burden of transport cost on business people who will use the store as a depot to acquire commodities.
“Now, we have taken an initiative of getting one store here in Lainya County just like what we have done in Yei so that all traders in Lainya will be in position to buy cheaply from the store instead of going to buy goods from Juba or Kampala which are expensive,” he said.
“We will be filling the store here with commodities so that every trader will buy at a cheaper price.”