JUBA — The mayor of Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, has ordered the city's popular shisha cafes, where customers smoke tobacco using a water pipe, to close, saying the custom is a health hazard.
Mayor Nhial Majak said the ban will be effective immediately, and those who flout the new rule will have to pay a fine.
But shisha sellers and smokers were not enamored of the mayor's idea.
A 24-year-old woman who identified herself only as Makedest said selling shisha was her only source of income, while shisha smoker, Lucky Kuku, insisted there was nothing wrong with smoking shisha and, therefore, no reason to shutter the cafes.
“It is like cigarettes. It is not a drug," Kuku said, calling on the government to focus on more pressing issues, including security in villages and job creation.
In addition to the shisha ban, Majak has banned sales of locally brewed alcohol, saying it was destroying the lives of young men and women in the state. If people want to drink alcohol, they should buy beer, he said, although he did not explain why beer is a better drink.