James Ohisa and Juma Ochi
27 Oct 2017: Work has begun on repairing a major road linking the capital Juba to communities living in the north of the city by Bangladeshi engineers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
The maintenance operation will cover 18 kilometres of road and is expected to be completed in six weeks’ time. The state of roads across South Sudan is causing significant problems for local communities and traders as well as the UN peacekeeping mission with war and weather devastating key infrastructure such as bridges and culverts and turning the surfaces into mud.
The Bangladeshi Project Officer, Major Kamrul Hasan, said the road maintenance would improve the situation for travellers as well as enable the engineering contingent to more easily access a gravel collection site.
The project is posing some major challenges.
“One of the major setback that is affecting our activities here is bad weather, there have been very heavy rain falls, which obstructed the progress of our work,” said Major Kamrul Hasan. “At one point soldiers at a check point also prevented us from collecting gravel despite the county commissioner giving us permission to do so”.
However, he said the community was very supportive with many of those passing waving in appreciation as they carried out their work.
Local authorities in the area have also expressed their appreciation with Ladu Deputy Commissioner Sapana Ginaba saying that road improvements would ease transportation woes in the area and encourage development.