JUBA, Nov 10 (Xinhuanet) – Chinese company Shandong Hi-Speed Group Co. Ltd (SDHS) recently completed repairs to sections of the 392 km Juba-Terekeka-Rumbek Road by the South Sudanese since they move in the landscape.
Jaffer Ibrahim, who drives the Juba-Terekeka route, said Wednesday that he had found it extremely difficult to negotiate the potholed, muddy road for over 15 years before the road was successfully paved with asphalt from SDHS this year .
On the Juba-Terekeka stretch, SDHS has already paved 25 km of asphalt on the road, installed six bridges, 104 pipe culverts and 15 box culverts.
“The road is good now compared to when it was unpaved,” Ibrahim recently told Xinhua in Juba, adding that it has taken him almost six hours to reach Terekeka from Juba in the past, but now he needs two hours.
“We see that goods from Juba reach Terekeka on time, and things from Terekeka find their way to the markets in Juba,” said Ibrahim.
In March 2019, the Chinese construction company received an order from the South Sudanese government to start building main roads.
In May, the government stopped work on the Juba-Terekeka-Yirol-Rumbek road after severe flooding damaged some sections of the dirt road.
After roughly three months of reviewing the project, SDHS was given permission to resume work in 2020.
“If the women in Terekeka want to give birth, they can be driven very quickly to one of the health facilities in Juba. In the past, people used boats because vehicles sometimes get stuck on the road,” said Ibrahim.
Joseph Malara, director of the Juba-Terekeka Transport Union, said he was relieved to see the repairs on the once dangerous road.
“We are excited about the progress on Juba Terekeka Street, the people of Terekeka appreciate the President (Salva Kiir) for the development, the street has made a difference,” said Malara.
“Terekeka people grow fresh vegetables and have lots of fresh fish and cows. They now bring fish and vegetables to Juba every day because they can return to Terekeka,” he added.
Emmanuel Joseph, a taxi driver who is from Terekeka, said he could now make more trips between Juba and Terekeka because of the paved road.
Taban Deng Gai, vice president of the infrastructure cluster in the coalition government, said last year that the road under construction will play a vital role in boosting development as it will facilitate access to the Unity state’s oil-producing region.
As part of its social responsibility towards the community, the Chinese company has also built a secondary school in Ladu County, built a health center in Terekeka and built 29 wells and several access roads.