Commuters already reaping benefits of Juba-Bor Road- ARC official

Commuters already reaping benefits of Juba-Bor Road- ARC official
Simon Akuei Deng, ARC senior coordinator on Juba-Bor highway. [Alex Bullen, City Review]

Businesses along Juba-Bor Highway are getting a facelift thanks to the construction of the road, a senior coordinator at Africa Resource Cooperation (ARC) working on the road has said.

Simon Akuei Deng revealed that about 67 kilometres of the road had already been covered from Juba, where the company started the construction.

He said that most importantly the 67-kilometre road constructed away from Juba has already shown a big difference in terms of transportation of people and goods as well.

“We have already seen the benefit of the road; we have seen many traders moving from Juba to Bor like three times in a day, especially motorbike fish dealers.

“Motorbikes start moving from 7: 00 am in the morning when they go to Juba, and [they] go back again to bring another [stock] of fish, so businesspersons started enjoying the benefit of the new road already. The project is yet to be completed in some years to come,” he added.

According to the senior coordinator, Deng, the project will contribute to the development of Juba-Bor transport which aims to boost state connectivity across the country.

He said people started seeing its significance which includes reduced transport costs, improved access to local and interstate markets as well as boosting regional trade.

He also mentioned that the Juba-Bor highway will promote tourism, and foster regional cooperation and integration.

“These highways will promote tourism, stand-in regional cooperation, and improve socio-economic opportunities for the people living in the country,” he stated.

He added the Juba-Bor Road will provide sustainable road access and quality of transport services for the communities in the area.

“It is already influencing markets and social services, and now contributing to the reduction of poverty and promoting security in the area,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, for his part, Mwanguhya Steven, ARC site Engineer for Juba-Bor-Malakal highway said the road construction is going on well adding that it will be finished within the stipulated time frame.

“As per the construction procedures, especially as far as embarkment is concerned; we have like 95 per cent completed, then for the sub-grade, we have around 70 per cent completed, then for sub-base, we have so far completed 35% of it and for asphalt, we have so far finished from Juba up to Mangalla,” he disclosed.

He said they have only completed the right-hand side from Magiri but the left-hand side up to Mangalla is still not yet finished.

“For the signposting and other road procedures, we are almost reaching Mangalla which is 65 kilometres away from Juba.”

He said it has been easy to work on the road but at the same time harder due to numerous challenges especially in areas affected by the flooding. Such areas needed a lot of materials to feel.

“But all in the work is going on well…in 2 years’ time, the road will be ready for use,” Eng. Steven stressed.

He believes that there is still within the time frame, though last year’s flood problem reduced the work rate.

“We were constructing from 80 kilometres before last years flood issues, but reaching June it became inaccessible so we had to stop the work because of the floods and the rains we had last year.” Juba-Bor-Malakal highway construction was launched in March 2020 and is expected to be completed in a three to four years period.