Members of the public and media have been invited to participate in the public consultation on the Nile river projects scheduled for next week.
This is according to the members of the committee tasked by the Presidency to organize public consultation and public awareness on the Sudd and White Nile Water Resource Development and Management Initiative.
Addressing a press conference at Freedom Hall on Monday, the chairperson of the committee, Akoc Akuei announced that the public consultation will take place from July 10 to July 12, 2022, in Juba.
Environmental experts are also expected to make their presentations to the legislature and the cabinet from July 13 to 14 this year.
Last month, the government of Unity State received the first consignment of Egyptian machinery for clearing the Naam River and Bahr El-Ghazal basin.
The authorities in the flood-stricken state announced they were installing the imported dredging machines to start opening the pathway of the Naam river amidst public concerns.
The decision sparked mixed reactions from the public, with some raising concerns the project could inflict irreversible damage on the suds ecosystem.
Following the public outcry, different government institutions contradicted themselves over the dredging plan to mitigate three years of flooding in the low-lying areas of the country.
The Environment Ministry issued a press statement declaring that the project is illegal and should not proceed until an environmental risk assessment is conducted.
The presidency then formed a 15-member committee to conduct public consultations on the Sudd and White Nile.
Weeks later, the Vice President for Economic Cluster, Dr. James Wani Igga revealed that the decision to dredge the Nile was approved by the cabinet.
Akoc Akuei, the chairperson of the committee called on the media and the public to participate in the consultations.
“The revitalized transitional government of national unity is urging the media and the people of South Sudan to seize this rare opportunity and actively participate in this public discourse concerning the future of the Sudd wetland and the White Nile water resource development and management,” Akoc told reporters in Juba on Monday.
“This should be done in a manner that is compatible with governing regional and international law, and environmental and social safeguards for the Sudd’s delicate ecosystem, as well as the Bahr el Ghazal and the Sobat wetlands,
“The future of South Sudan belongs to her people. I’m therefore urging you all to please come and raise your concerns and share your views on this critical issue that affects the survival of our citizens and has huge implications for our potential growth and viability. You and I can help shape the government’s policy on managing waters of the White Nile.”
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