Juba — Work on the new proposed new bridge on the River Nile is set to start soon after officials signed a memorandum of understanding for its commencement.
Besides the construction of the new bridge, according to the signed MOU, Japan through Japan International Cooperation (JICA) will also develop the urban water system in Juba and give a modern facelift to the Juba river port.
Speaking at the signing ceremony yesterday in Juba Mr. Hideo Fukushima, Japan's special representative and Head of Office in South Sudan described it as a major project since the independence of South Sudan. The construction is expected to cost US Dollars $50 million and would be completed within forty months.
Juba Bridge that serves as a major link for both local and international trade is over forty years old and has broken down twice since 2008 due to heavy traffic and being old. Mr. Fukushima underscored the importance of the three projects saying they are for the economic development of the new Republic of South Sudan. He said peace consolidation in South Sudan is one of the major pillars of government of Japan's assistance to the country.
"Peace consolidation and development are the major pillars of Japan's assistance to the people of the Republic of South Sudan", he said.
On the other hand Prof. Elias Nyamwell Wakoson applauded the support from the government of Japan towards the people of the Republic of South Sudan. He said the bridge is a key business link to the neighbouring countries of Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia where South Sudan gets most of its imports. He further said once completed, the new bridge would ease traffic in the city which is growing by the day.
Japan since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement has been in solidarity with the people of South Sudan and has been engaged in projects that are aimed at supporting the young nation devastated by the long civil war.