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More highways to be constructed -Minister

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Construction work has commenced along the Juba - Terekeka road, as part of the Juba - Bahr el Ghazal highway. PHOTO: Shandong High-Speed Group of companies.

The Minister of Roads and Bridges says plans are underway to build other highways and roads across the country after the construction of the Juba – Bhar-el-Ghazel region highway.

Rebecca Okwaci said her ministry is looking at the possibility of embarking on the construction of the Juba – Yei – Kaya highway.

Two years ago, the government of Uganda and South Sudan agreed to begin the upgrade of the 79 kilometers Yei – Kaya road.

It is a major trade route, connecting South Sudan, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Juba – Nimule road is another highway that connects South Sudan to its neighbor, Uganda, and is currently the main entry point for goods from the port of Mombasa, Kenya.

In March, South Sudan and Shandong High-Speed group of companies signed a 700-million-dollar deal to be paid gradually through the lifting of 30,000 barrels of crude oil per day -to cover the cost of the road works.

Rebecca Okwaci also said that the plan includes the construction of the Juba –Bor – Akobo – Malakal highway, among others.

“We are going to start moving to other highways and start construction,” she said.

It is not clear whether the same company will be in-charge of the road works in the areas mentioned.

The minister further said they have realized the biggest financial cost for the road construction is the cost of each bridge.

“One bridge like Jur River bridge can cost about $45 million, and we have big bridges like Malakal –crossing from East to West. These are very expensive bridges but that is our reasonability,” Okwaci said.

She said they will also be looking at power supply along the constructed roads.

In 2018, the World Bank released over 530 million US dollars to fund the construction of a superhighway connecting Kenya and South Sudan, and laying of fiber-optic cable.

The construction of the 365 kilometer Juba – Torit – Kapoeta – Nadapal road is part of the Eastern Africa Regional Transport, Trade and Development Facilitation Project.

Economist say improving South Sudan’s roads would create jobs and inject much-needed cash into local economies, and promote peace.

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