Africa Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Africa Water, Sanitation Jan -Feb 2014 Vol.10 No1 - Page 24

SUWASA News Most tankers are large and purchased secondhand with private capital. Very few owners borrow from commercial banks to buy tankers. The secondhand tankers have a short life span and require greater regulation to ensure that they comply with environmental standards. Juba’s exhauster tanker business can be divided into three categories: (a) Private exhauster businesses operating under the name and license of another business. Some only serve the businesses operating them, others also service external clients. (b) Private for-profit businesses serving government premises, schools, hospitals, commercial and residential clients, operating in Juba, Kator and Munuki sub-counties, or payams. (c) Exhausters operated by public institutions including the University of Juba, Juba Teaching Hospital, the City Prison and the Payams. These exhausters often cannot meet the demand - for example private contractors were brought in during the cholera outbreak of May 2014. The SUWASA survey of exhauster tankers showed the majority, i.e. 60% are operated by private for-profit businesses (category b), with just 2% publicly operated (category c). Profitability of Exhauster Tanker Business Financial figures provided by the tanker owners and drivers, but unverified, show a profitable exhauster business in Juba, with average operating costs per trip of approximately US$96. Table 3: Typical Daily Cost of Operating an Exhauster Tanker per Trip Tankers make an average of 2.5 trips per day, with daily operating costs of US$231 or US$57,371 annually. Average annual income of US$ US$269,177 equates to a profit of US$174,720/year, compared to average profits of US$12,000/ year in most cities in Africa and US$5,600/year in Asia (Chowdhry and Kone, 2012). The strong profitability stems from high emptying fees charged by tanker owners in Juba, at US$122 to US$83, compared to an average fee of US$60 in other African cities (Ibid.). It is worth noting that the high charges may discourage use of mechanical emptying services in favor of manual emptying or other unsanitary and environmentally unsafe practices, particularly amongst poor households. 24 24 Africa Water, Sanitation & Hygiene • January -- February 2015 Africa Water, Sanitation & Hygiene • January February 2015