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Owinykibul villagers renovate roads with hand tools

Authors: Michael Daniel | Wol Mapal | Published: Monday, October 10, 2022

Residents of Owingkibul village are seen rehabilitating murram roads with hand tools. (Photo: Michael Daniel

Hundreds of residents in Owinyikibul Payam at the Ugandan border with Eastern Equatoria state have joined hands to renovate the main road in the area using primitive hand tools and equipment.

The payam administrator Onyango Joseph Okot said they are rehabilitating parts of the road linking Awingkibul to Abara.

“We have mobilized the community for a short time, whereby, we are trying to finish the spot hole within the road living owingibul via Abara,” he told Eye Radio.

In many the photos extended to Eye Radio, local residents including women and teenagers are seen leveling potholes with soil and clearing bushy edges of the unpaved road.

The locals were also putting big logs of wood on broken parts of the road to ease vehicles movement.

The Payam administrator said the roads inaccessibility forced the villagers to carry out the tedious renovation with their bare hands.

Okot said the length of the road targeted for maintenance and repair is about 8 kilometers and links Owinykibul junction with the Iboje bridge.

“We also move to a place called Kok stream where the road was cut off by running water. Even though road construction is beyond the community’s ability, we urge the government both state and the nation to be giving the community food items as they sacrificed their time and efforts.”

Last month, the residents told an assessment team that they are stranded and cut off from commercial and humanitarian access, after running water wrecked transport infrastructures in the area.

Some youth engineering the rehabilitation called on state and national governments to intervene and help in the roads maintenance.

“My message to the government is to at least help us to quicken the situation on this road. Because communities are now suffering due to transportation barriers. No means of movement from here to Magwi, there are business people stacked from bringing in goods nor taking their products out.”

“Those who cultivated cassava have no access to Juba or Magwi. We are just in the bush now and we have nothing to do about it. We are stranded and there is no way now to bring our agricultural crops on the other hand, because the major is destroyed.”

Last month The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management called on the Ministry of Road and Bridges to urgently rehabilitate feeder roads, for quick delivery of assistance to flood-affected populations.

During an assessment visit to Magwi County of Eastern Equatoria State, Peter Mayen Majongdit said torrential rain and flooding have destroyed feeder roads and affected his ministry’s efforts to deliver emergency assistance to needy people.

South Sudan remains one of the countries with the most underdeveloped road networks in the world, according to the World Bank.

The international finance organization states that most interstate roads consist of badly or non-maintained dirt roads, with only 300km of sealed roads and one sealed international highway linking Juba to Uganda.

 

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