Nov 19, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — A Chinese state firm, Shandong Hi-Speed Group Company, has reached an agreement with the South Sudan government to resume construction of the Juba-Rumbek Highway that was washed away by heavy rains in May this year.
The controversy over the construction of the important Juba-Bahr el Ghazal highway, which involved corruption and mismanagement, saw the then Minister of Presidential Affairs, Hon. Mayiik Ayii Deng, fired.
Speaking to the media from the national capital after a meeting of the Infrastructure Cluster under the auspice of the Vice President Stephen Taban Deng Gai, the South Sudan Minister of Roads and Bridges, Hon. Simon Mijok Mijak, announced that the construction of the Juba-Rumbek Highway will resume in two weeks.
“The infrastructure cluster is willing to implement all resolutions of the road project including Shandong Hi-Speed Company to resume its work as soon as the framework is finalized within two weeks,” Hon. Mijak announced.
According to the Minister of Roads and Bridges, the Chinese State firm has been given up to one week to finalize its reports on Quality Assurance to ensure that this time the highway is not blown away by win or washed by rains and floods.
“Another update also from road sector is Juba-Rumbek contract has reached final deal, the team are left to discuss and conclude Shandong Hi-Speed bill of quality, they are given up to the end of the week to finalize their reports,” Hon. Mijak said.
The Infrastructure Cluster of the Revitalized Peace Agreement is focusing mostly on the road networks which include both the construction of new roads and maintenance of the existing few.
The Minister announced that his ministry has secured over $ 60 million loans to boost the infrastructural development emphasizing that the existing highways like Nimule-Juba road will be upgraded or maintained.
“The second presentation was from the Executive Director of Road Authority on the implementation and the maintenance of Juba-Nimule road which is going to be maintained by an Egyptian firm,” he said.
“Hon. Mijak said the construction project of Juba-Bor highway is progressing well and he informed H.E. President Salva Kiir on the new strategy to upgrade the Juba–Bor road project.” Read part of press statement from President Kiir office.
The construction of roads in South Sudan has been a long but slow way coming since the country gained independence in 2011.
For the past nine years, the government has not been available to extend road construction beyond the capital, Juba; however, the peace agreement has given infrastructure a special attention and if implemented South Sudan infrastructure could be uplifted.