UNMISS completes rehabilitation of two bridges along Wau-Raja road

UNMISS completes rehabilitation of two bridges along Wau-Raja road

The completion of repair work on the Wau-Raja road will be a welcome boost for local residents, peacekeepers and humanitarians alike.

15 May 2020

UNMISS completes rehabilitation of two bridges along Wau-Raja road

Michael Wondi

The People of Raja County in Western Bahr El Ghazal State will soon enjoy easy access to Wau town even during the rainy season as engineers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan are about to complete the rehabilitation of the Bili and Sopo bridges along the Wau-Raja road.

“I have not been to Wau town for almost two years now, and when it rains the road becomes virtually impassable,” comments Adam Usman, a primary school pupil from Sopo.

Adam explains that it is expensive to get transport from Sopo to Wau as vehicle owners have increased the price because of the bad road conditions.

The two vital bridges were destroyed during heavy rains last year, and restoring them to their former glory provides residents with a major boost for farming, trade and essential movements.

“I am really happy to see UNMISS in Sopo. Hopefully we shall be crossing the Sopo river and go to our farms without problems,” says Dafaalah Fotur Baballa, acting executive director of Sopo Payam (district).

These dreams, says Lieutenant Shii, liaison officer for the Chinese engineers in the area, will be fulfilled this week, despite challenging work conditions.

“Sopo is very far, more than 200 kilometers, from Wau, and it is hot as we are working from 7a.m.  to 7 p.m. every day,” he says, adding that the rehabilitation, once completed, will have taken three weeks.

With the bridges repaired, peacekeepers and humanitarians alike will be able to access the whole Raja area and its more than 30,000 residents all year round, and crucial trade between Sudan and South Sudan will receive a much-needed fillip as well.