Main supply route rehabilitated by UNMISS brings hope to Upper Nile State
It will facilitate humanitarian access, boost trade and increase the general freedom of movement between the three counties of Malakal, Baliet and Melut
For traders and farmers, it means that they can go there, sell their products and return home the same day
A road without timely maintenance work soon stops being a road, as the saying goes. Fortunately, the 75 kilometres stretching from Adwong via Bailet to Malakal, capital of Upper Nile State, has just been rehabilitated by Indian engineering troops serving with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), much to the delight of humanitarian actors, traders and communities living along the road.
“A better road improves all our lives in many ways. The travel time has been reduced from four hours to one, and that can make a huge difference for anyone needing urgent medical care in Malakal, for example. For traders and farmers, it means that they can go there, sell their products and return home the same day,” explains Chuol Lul Monyabur Diing, an elderly gentleman from the village of Anakdiar.
Road repair work is tough going. It involves everything from drilling to cutting bushes and filling potholes, often under a blazing sun or torrential rains, and yet the restoration of the Adwong-Malakal stretch to its former glory took the 60 peacekeepers involved a mere 30 days
“It has not been easy, but we are happy to have achieved it. The positive feedback from the local population also means a lot to us,” said Warrant Officer Bhosale, one of four project managers.
This was far from the first road rehabilitation operation completed by the Indian engineering troops based in Upper Nile State, nor will it be the last. With some crucial arteries in Malakal, including the one leading to the airport, already done, they are currently working the 167 kilometres that separate Palouge from Malakal. Once repaired, it will facilitate humanitarian access, boost trade and increase the general freedom of movement between the three counties of Malakal, Baliet and Melut.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).