JUBA – South Sudan information minister Michael Makuei Lueth has said that the idea for a feasibility study by the government before it conduct dredging of River Nile tributaries is not bad, however, it should not be at the expense of the communities affected by floods.
Speaking during the closing session of the public consultation on water resources, Makuei stressed the need for dredging because it will result in the opening of waterways which will in turn make it easier for goods to be delivered at cheapest rate to remote communities and also help eliminate floods.
“The children of Akobo have never seen steamers again. All these are problems we are living with and by the way, waterway transport is the cheapest in the world,” Makuei said.
“Why are we avoiding it and making our people to suffer. Why don’t we clear these waterways so that the goods are taken to them and sold to them in a cheaper way?” he asked.
Makuei who is also the government spokesman further said that he hasn’t seen any environmental impact during the old days when dredging was being conducted every year and said it was unfortunate that people fears the process now.
“It is very unfortunate that dredging those days was being done without environmental studies and I have never seen any environmental negative impact during those days,” he said.
“At present, we are saying no, feasibility studies must be conducted all the project must have feasibility study first because so that we know the negative impact,” he added.
The senior government official further said that he agrees with the idea of feasibility study, but that should not be at the expense of the people, stressing the importance of human life.
“Yes it is true, but this should not be at the expense of the people because it is human being first,” he stressed.
“Then come others. Water is not gold, it is life. Water is life, that is true, but when it becomes a problem, then you must find how best with that water and it is our duty as government how best we can live with those water,” he added.