The European Union Ambassador to South Sudan, Christian Bader is in Warrap and Western Bahr El Ghazal states to visit beneficiaries of feeder roads project.
The generous funding from the European Union, totalling 44 million euros, enabled the construction of over 170 kilometres of feeder roads in Warrap, Lakes, Western and Northern Bahr El Ghazal states. The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) implemented the projects.
These roads, constructed between 2016 and 2020, link farmers to markets and have significantly reduced the travel time between farms, homes, markets, schools and other social amenities. The roads have also enabled traders to reach the hinterland and buy farm produce directly from the farmers thereby providing better prices to the farmers by eliminating the agents. Local traders use the completed roads to deliver farm inputs closer to the farmers.
“The EU is committed to help in making sure feeder roads connect to main roads. This will improve security and allow goods and services to reach all parts of the country,” said Ambassador Bader.
Children can now access schools at ease and communities can access better health care in other localities. This project directly responds to sustainable development goals 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure), eight (decent work and economic growth), three (good life and wellbeing) amongst other goals.
“I want to thank UNOPS for the work they have done in our states, especially roads and bridges, and the work is still continuing and we work side by side,” said Hon. Victor Chol Bol, Minister for Roads and Bridges in Warrap state.
Speaking about the project, UNOPS Country Representative to South Sudan, Peter Mutoredzanwa said; “It is part of UNOPS DNA to work alongside communities and ensure that communities and institutions in South Sudan have the right capacity to maintain the infrastructure built with support from our development partners. This is a sustainable approach which moves communities from being recipients of development aid but to take ownership and enable them to maintain infrastructure by transferring skills and knowledge.”
Notes to the editors:
Project Background: EU Zonal Effort for Agricultural Transformation in the Greater Bahr el Ghazal Region
South Sudan is one of the most food-insecure countries in the world and it is estimated that half of the population lives below the poverty line. The country suffers from a critical lack of infrastructure, which prevents farmers from getting their produce to the markets.
Despite these challenges, there is enormous potential to increase food production and enhance the country’s agricultural output, with approximately 75 percent of South Sudan’s land area considered suitable for farming. Boosting local food production and improving food security, however, also requires addressing South Sudan’s pertinent infrastructure issues.
In December 2014, the European Union and UNOPS teamed up to construct and rehabilitate over 170 kilometres of feeder roads and construct four markets in Warrap, Lakes, Northern and Western Bahr-el-Ghazal states.
Genevieve Imbali | Communications Senior Officer
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