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Kiir woos international support for low-cost housing construction

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: Thursday, May 30, 2019

An artist’s impression of the then proposed new capital city of South Sudan in Ramchiel, Lakes state [Photo credit|The New Sudan Vision September 15, 2011]

President Salva Kiir is appealing to investors and the UN to help South Sudan with low-cost housing construction and other infrastructural developments.

The absence of proper housing in South Sudan means majority of the people do not have the option of buying or renting decent properties for family or commercial purposes.

Kiir says the 21 years of civil war, and continuous instability in the country has denied the people are chance to develop South Sudan.

He was speaking in Nairobi yesterday during UN Habitat High Level Panel discussions on Innovation and sustainable urbanization.

A recent data from the Ministry of Land and Housing shows that 93 percent of privately owned houses in South Sudan are made of grass-thatch or mud huts, popularly known as tukuls.

The President was joined by Heads of State from Kenya, Fiji & Yemen to share ideas on increasing the availability of housing, with particular emphasis on families with low or medium income.

Kiir told the gathering that South Sudan is ready to partner with investors and organizations to transform people’s lives and the economy across South Sudan.

President Salva Kiir, President Uhuru Kenyatta and the President of Fiji during the High Panel discussion on urbanization in Nairobi on May 29, 2029.  PHOTO: State House KE

“When we talk about housing, there is no housing in South Sudan but the minister of Land and Housing is ready to work with other partners to provide the population to get housing. The second thing is that, all the infrastructure in the country is not there, those who got independence from reasonable people found some infrastructure but in South Sudan we started from scratch, there was nothing and thus when you talk about infrastructure, there was nothing,” Kiir said.

The President added that this can only be achieved through the help of partners.

Studies by the government and the UN Habitat show that rapid urbanization in South Sudan has been determined by massive rural-urban migration due to the liberation war and prolonged conflicts among tribes.

It says this growth has led to the development of informal areas in towns like Juba, Wau, Bor, Malakal, and other major towns.

The report also say lack of capacity for urban professionals such as planners, municipal engineers, urban designers, and architects has resulted in the uncontrolled growth of urban settlements.

It concluded that planning urban development should aim for privacy in residential areas, the easy flow of traffic and the establishment of enough public spaces for schools, hospitals, open areas, parks and playgrounds, among other community facilities.

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