Juba-Nadapal Highway Construction To Begin This Year

Residents of Imotong and Namorunyang States have expressed excitement over the latest announcement about the plan to have the Juba-Nadapal [Juba-Torit-Kapoeta-Nadapal] highway constructed this year.

Juba-Nadapal Highway Construction To Begin This Year
Commercial trucks struggling on Juba-Nadapal highway during a rainy season. [File Photo]

By Peter Lokale Nakimangole

TORIT, 12 February, 2016 [Gurtong] – Making remarks in four separate functions during his recent official tour to Imotong and Namorunyang States, the National Transport, Road and Bridges Ministry's Undersecretary, Mr. Gabriel Makur revealed the plan which he disclosed was already under pipeline following a series of negotiations with the national government through his ministry.

He announced to both Governors Louis Lobong Lojore and Nartisio Loluke Manir of Namorunyang and Imotong respectively that the highway referred to as N11 1 and N 2 is winning the interest of international agencies especial world bank, Chinese Exim Bank and Africa Development Bank to come in to support the International Highway's, Juba-Lokichogio road constructions through Nesitu, Torit, Kapoeta and Nadapal of South Sudan.

Makur notes that the highway is a regional road connecting four countries and it will serve as inter-regional and intra-regional carries for heavy volumes of traffic.

"If I were you, I won't wait to celebrate the forthcoming highway tarmacking of Juba-Nadapal road because already some development discussions on the commencement are getting to a reality sooner. Sooner or later the plans shall come up and the national ministry may assume that between the months of March and April. Our citizens in these two sisterly States of Namorunyang and Imotong, will see some changes along Juba Nadapal Road. What is expected of you is cooperation and contributions especially in terms of provision of security and protection to construction companies. Of course, more than 80% of job opportunities will automatically belong to you as local residents. You will obviously be immediate beneficiaries of the highway construction, both short and long term benefits because in short term, employment opportunities while in the longer term, service provision shall continue to flow so long as the society exists even great children for future generations of the two States," said the Undersecretary.

Residents of the area have expressed their gratitude to the government and are excited that the road will finally be tarmacked after many pledges were made and not fulfilled earlier on.

"... Of course, no one should reject such a developmental road in his or her territory in a given society. We in Eastern Equatoria are grateful to have such a highway bisecting our land. Our proposed highway; the Juba-Nadapal Highway which starts in Juba city runs up to the Mombasa port via main towns in Kenya; Lokichogio, Lodwar, Kitale, Eldoret, Naukuru, Naivasha and more importantly Nairobi, the Kenyan city, among other regional commercial towns in East Africa and even beyond, we are among the proudest communities in the region. What could all these mean? It should mean our region is already opened to regional accessibility with many options for investment opportunities. Services could no longer be far away. Let our government fulfil the promise together with its development partners. We need it be done now, not tomorrow.
We are tired of empty promises. The idea to have the highway tarmacked is a wonderful one, and we would love to see to it that it is executed immediately," expressed Lowala Arkangelo a resident in Torit.

The regional highway will improve, promote and facilitate regional economic integration between the two countries South Sudan and Kenya. In South Sudan, the road will provide a direct access to the port of Mombasa for her export and imports.

The road, of which the construction begins at Nesitu near Juba city, shall transverse through Lirya, Torit, Loriyok, Kapoeta, Narus, Hiyala, Lobira and is expected to end at Nadapal near the border between Kenya and South Sudan.

The Imotong State Transport and Road Ministry’s Director, General, Eng. Norman Charles Gideon confirmed that the highway that begins all the way from Nesitu and passes via Torit, Kapoeta and Nadapal are currently under preparations. "This is a highway that connects South Sudan to Kenya. It is expected to enhance interstate and regional connectivity," he adds.

Imotong State Governor, Natrisio Loluke Manir has also appreciated the latest development by the national government and international organizations to have the highway which passes through his State, constructed.

The Undersecretary, Makur believes that the upcoming tarmacking of the highway shall basically serve as a gateway easing delivery of service transport and communication.

In a related development, the Imotong State Governor, Loluke, appealed to the national Transport, Road and Bridges ministry to also rehabilitate the Nimule-Juba highway which has a number of potholes which has turned dangerous to motorists.

This is due to high traffic by heavy commercial vehicles taking supplies to South Sudan’s Juba city coupled with lack of regular maintenance.

Analysts note that the proposed plan to tarmack the highway in question (365 km Juba-Torit-Kapoeta-Nadapal single carriageway road in South Sudan), shall contribute to the overarching goal of integrating South Sudan to the regional markets and supporting the State of South Sudan to function as a nation.

According to a section of independent Analysts in the region, the highway is expected to change the lifestyles of Pastoralist Communities like Laarim (Buya), Lotuko, Lokoya, Toposa and Didinga including their neighbour's Turkana of Kenya, to eventually adapt and engage themselves in entrepreneurial ventures.

"... By so doing, poverty reduction shall be realised. The current cost of transporting animals and other essential commodities to the market will then be compromised hence leading to the economic growth of the Pastoralist Communities," says an analyst.

Currently, the Juba-Nadapal highway is still in a deplorable state and no proper maintenance as the government concentrates its meagre resources in addressing security threats after the December 2013 civil war that broke out between the government and rebels led former Vice President Riek Machar.

Bidding Delays Juba-Nadapal Road Works

In January 2013 the former Eastern Equatoria State Transport and Roads Minister, Charles Ambrose Lokonoi complained that selection of a competent company to start tarmacking the highway, created doubts and dissatisfaction by the people on the side of the government because of delays to have the work commenced.  

He clarified that the National Ministry of Roads and Bridges in close consultation with the World Bank, was still looking for trusted contractors so it would re-contract other subcontractors to do the highway.

In October 2012, the minister announced that the construction would commence within 90 days with World Bank donation of the whole project costing a US$ 360 Million.

The construction according to government was planned to be completed in three to four years.

In 2011, Kenya and South Sudan were in talks to construct a US$ 1 billion road linking Eldoret to Juba to enhance trade between the two countries.

Kenya’s Roads’ minister Franklin Bett said plans were underway to start the project, once the design was complete and financing was secured from development partners.
The road would have a one-stop border post at Nadapal, axle load facilities and social amenities like boreholes and security outposts.

The former South Sudan minister for Roads and Bridges, Mr Gier Aluong, said the country’s citizens had put the government under pressure to upgrade the road network, which has immense social, economic and geopolitical importance.

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