By Deng Kiir Akok, Juba, South Sudan
Although there're people with fat wallets or who can afford their daily meals, it has not been easy for most South Sudanese to have their meals as their few brothers and sisters do. The ailing economy has left many citizens to gamble with their lives. They're not longer sure of what one would eat tomorrow. They don't know what tomorrow will mean for them about their daily bread.
One may stay with nothing to eat for the day and night if you were not lucky enough during the day to get a meal from one's long or short time friend or someone who may concern. Those one who may find themselves in pain when they see their brothers and sisters starving to death.
Someone somewhere in a developed country would wonder how do these helpless South Sudanese push their day, week, month or a year. Thank God that our citizens had dealt properly with 2015 and are also almost closed to bring down 2016.
Yes, I can say here, gone is gone. These two years of economic hardship have gone. Our citizens are done with these two years. I congratulate them on their courage they took during these years. Two years are almost behind them by now.
Another scaring big bad luck is stepping on their doors again, the 2017. What they gonna do? Yaac madueen ci ceng thiin! I can't imagine how our citizens will cope with the coming year.
If 2017 would do what the past 21 months did for our citizens, then the economic suffering will intensify more than now. This situation has a popular name on social media and on Facebook in particular. It can be called two years of bad luck for South Sudanese economy if anyone on Facebook could correctly remember.
It could also urge the dot-com self-proclaimed prophets to asked their followers to type amen against the almost three years of economic hardship.
Typing amen will not let go this economic curse and bring in a good one as these prophets might claim if asked for the solution to the crisis facing South Sudan.
Before TB Joshua or Prophet Shepherd Bushiri asked the well wishers on Facebook or any other social media to type amen for the healing prayers for South Sudan's nearly three years of economic dilemma, I have already typed my Big AMEN for it.
But will the typing of letter a, m, e and n will rescue this economic crisis? Surely no. Unless the current national minister for finance and economic planning should put in place swift strategies to jumpstart the economy which already has a broken tail.
Our citizens have suffered for long time since the start of 2015 and another worrying issue is that no one knows when exactly will this crisis ended.
People of this country have really tasted the worst part of the economy with every day increase in prices on consumer goods. Even people have become familiar with the situation and don't bother again to bargain with sellers when they are on shopping. If they asked why prices are high. They will only hear nothing than United States Dollar. The sellers keep asking their customers, don't you know how much is $100 United States Dollar (USD) in South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) in today's deals on the side? There, no other choice for our citizens.
As a result, the citizens have developed a new technique while in markets for their routine shopping. What they do is that they readily prepared their minds for any prices on consumer goods the sellers would tell them. The barrier would be that if they may not have in their pockets, the sellers' required amount in exchange for their goods. That's the only one thing that would prevent our citizens to buy not because of skyrocketing prices.
It's not a surprise today in Juba to buy an egg at 65 SSP. Any day that passes has its own separate price on consumer goods. Even for one to buy him/herself a pata, the cheapest ever South Sudanese and Sudanese dish available at any restaurant in towns and cities across two Sudans has now becomes too expensive to buy as it was before in 2014 and backward.
Not me alone that has abandoned shopping for clothes in Juba's main boutiques but almost everyone for reason we can't anymore afford them.
The same thing is happening in tea places, milk tea has disappeared. Before I couldn't see it again and my last time to be served with such a cup of tea if I can remember it well, it was at 40 SSP, an amount that could shop for one day for a small family's house in 2014. One had to think twice before he/she could take any decision to order it.
It was between two choices, you either take it and cancel a breakfast for that day or say enough for that day. The other choice was that not to waste such an amount on a liquid food.
Because of an economy that shrinks every hour or day there're certain types of tea, foods and fruits just to mention the few will vanish in South Sudanese towns and city. A tea leave bag or shai Lipton will follow milk tea and not far away from now because it's now sold at 20 SSP per a cup of tea.
Juba will run out certain items in the nearest future. In 2015, things were better than now and again our citizens will claim 2016 would have been better than 2017 so and so in term of market prices.
But it will not take time for one to predict what will happen in 2017 to our citizens. There are only two scenarios here. It will either be worse than this or things will change for better.
Hmm, now, there're no signs that show the economy will improve by 2017. In this trend, still South Sudanese people have another long way to go. It's an endless ailing economy. What a curse for our citizens! No one knows when this economic crisis will get better. But what's in the mind of every South Sudanese is to see the economy improving before the end of this year. I wish 2017 could be a prosperous year for our beloved people of South Sudan.
Gone is 2015
On its way to go is 2016.
Coming with a big question is 2017. What will happen to the people of South Sudan as far as economic hardship is concerned.
Friday, October 07, 2016
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