23 June 2012

South Sudan: Is Road Building a Difficult Engineering Work?


The constructing engineers of the road from Yei Junction in Atlabara certainly had good intention to build the road that runs southward to Kator. But technically to anyone who has no knowledge of engineering he will still ask the question why a feasibility study was not conducted before reconstructing and modernizing that road.

This question has come up because at least one of the east bound streams was blocked by raising the level of the road and without making a tunnel to drain the water to the stream which joins the Lobuilet River somewhere before reaching Late Albino's Bridge.

Many houses on the right hand side of the road as one walks southward have been affected by standing water whose natural outlets which run from west to the east have been blocked and some houses have been broken down causing losses to the owners. In the first rains the situation of several families especially those whose houses are bordering the road had their compound flooded with water which could not flow out through its natural way which had been blocked in the engineering work.

The standing water has entered residential houses and shops and today most of these infrastructures are ruined and some abandoned by their inhabitants. It is very surprising to see that the Juba City Council authorities could not seek rectification of the situation by asking the engineering firm that constructed the road to open a waterway so that the standing water gets drained along its natural route and moreover with continued rainfall, the situation can get worse. Although damage has been caused to the houses of several families already, it is still not too late to address the situation and mend the damages done.

The best solution will be opening a tunnel to drain the water away from its standing areas. Engineering when in action looks a really attractive structuring of the landscape but when not properly undertaken it can cause uneasiness instead of the splendour it is expected to create.

Development is very good but often it comes with its problems like environmental damage. It is only that building engineers engaged in construction in residential areas are to take great care not to impact on the residents negatively and they should guard against such setbacks by conducting feasibilities survey before starting their work.

The Yei Junction street should serve as a good example of environmental inconvenience caused by reconstruction of a road which runs through a residential quarters. Streams are formed naturally and therefore their routes or passages should not be blocked because they can cause environmental disasters as is being experienced by some families in Atlabara.

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