South Sudan has a road network of over 20,000 kilometres, but only a small fraction of 200 kilometres are paved. Road travel is therefore difficult, especially during the rainy season, posing a challenge for the local populations, economic development, access to markets, as well as humanitarian operations on the ground.
The new Kwacjok Bridge (€5.5 million), a 120 meter long structure over the Jur River, is the first of several EU-funded infrastructure project to help better connect the country. This much-needed bridge creates an easier access between the Lunyaker, Kwacjok, and Kangi, regions that for many years have been cut off from one another by the Jur River.
The bridge provides access to the Kwacjok markets, reduces transport costs and subsequent costs of input supply and production. It will subsequently promote market competition for goods and services in rural communities, increases connectivity and access for humanitarians to reach out to the population.
This is the first major accomplishment of a €20.3 million project funded by the European Union. The project in full will build and maintain 100 kilometres of roads in the region.
The construction in itself, which has been implemented by United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), has already created around 80 jobs for the local population, including electricians, welders, equipment operators, and drivers, creating much-needed job opportunities. In the long-run the infrastructure will benefit the education, health, transport, agriculture, and tourism for the surrounding communities.
Speaking at the inauguration of the bridge, the EU Ambassador said that; "The European Union believes that investment in rural infrastructure is a driver of peace, stability and sustainable development. Better rural infrastructure not only enhances the livelihoods and the living conditions of rural communities which it serves but also boosts the economy. A strengthened economy means better prospects for peace, just as peace is critical for economic progress in South Sudan."
She further added:" This bridge is only one example of the European Union’s investment in infrastructure in South Sudan Since 2012, the European Union has contributed over €58 Million to infrastructure projects."
More about this project:
Apart from the bridge, with EU support, the WFP and UNOPs have completed the construction of 230km in Gogrial state, Wau, Lol, Twic, Eastern Lakes states (Barh el Ghazal Region). Other infrastructures and facilities, such as four markets, two slaughterhouses (one of them in Kwacjok) and four grinding mills have been provided to the rural populations with the EU support.
- Publication date
- 6 June 2019
- Region and Country
- South Sudan
- Greater economic and employment opportunities
- World Food Programme