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Khartoum expands water protests, North Darfur electricity corp. criticised

June 24 - 2015 KHARTOUM / EL FASHER
Displaced girls in Darfur protest for an improved water supply to their camp (Unamid)
Displaced girls in Darfur protest for an improved water supply to their camp (Unamid)

The demonstrations in several neighbourhoods in Khartoum against the continuous water supply disruptions, have expanded. On Monday evening, people in El Fitehab in Omdurman went out on the streets again. In El Kalakla, southern Khartoum, angry demonstrators closed off the main street before the police intervened and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. Other protests took place in Sangat, El Gatiya, El Wehda and El Gubba.

Meanwhile, Khartoum faces problematic public transportation: bus tariffs have increased to more than double the prices, which forces some residents to use various transports to reach their destination.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a bus driver pointed for the exacerbation of the crisis to the difficult economic situation, the increased cost of maintenance, more expensive spare parts, and fines on traffic violations which are daily imposed on the buses.

Electricity disruptions in North Darfur

In the capital of North Darfur, people told Radio Dabanga that they threaten the El Fasher Electricity Corporation with a lawsuit. “The electricity outages started on the first day of Ramadan. We ask the corporation's management to respect their customers and refrain from their recklesness,” a El Fasher inhabitant said.

The issues of the water shortage and electricity disruptions have become a chronic problem that needs to be resolved with very bold solutions coming from innovative solutions, says journalist Faisal Mohamed Saleh. Saleh, who is the director of the Taiba Press Services Centre, revealed that the problems occur in spite of advance payments to the corporations.

“People in El Fasher were forced to pay the price of water and electricity connection together in one bill.”

“The officials have no replies to the citizens' complaints, nor listen to them,” he said. Residents in El Halfaya district have been without water and electricity for a week, Saleh reported, while they have not received any responses from the local officials.

On the payments in advance, Saleh said that the people of El Fasher were “forced” to pay the price of water and electricity connection together in one bill – meaning that some were forced to buy electricity. “But there is no relationship between the two companies,” the journalist said.

“The crises of water and electricity in Khartoum are repeated annually, in the beginning of each summer. This year, the crises have been very sharp and occur in very different areas in Khartoum, Khartoum North and Omdurman.”

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