South Sudan vice-president says gov’t has approved river dredging initiative
South Sudan Vice President for Economic Cluster James Wani Igga has revealed that his country’s government approved the dredging initiative of tributaries of the river Nile, claiming that benefits of the project are much greater than the disadvantages.
JUBA — South Sudan Vice President for Economic Cluster James Wani Igga has revealed that his country’s government approved the dredging initiative of tributaries of the river Nile, claiming that benefits of the project are much greater than the disadvantages.
In early June, the ministry of water resources and irrigation said in a statement that dredging machines had arrived in Unity State capital Bentiu to clear Naam River, an important Nile River tributary, of weeds hampering water flow, something which has been blamed by authorities for the devastating floods in most parts of the state.
But the presidency claimed that the project has not yet been approved by the council of minister. The ministry of environment and forestry also echoed the presidency position and said the dredging initiative will not go through because it is “illegal” that a study on risk impact has not yet been conducted.
But Igga said Tuesday that the council of ministers in its resolution number 39/202 for 2021 approved the dredging initiative of the rivers with only a few of the country’s cabinet opposing it.
“We in the Council of Ministers agreed to it, and some ministers who were against it, maybe two or three, when we discussed this fact and we passed it as a resolution that dredging will have to start,” Igga said Tuesday, according to Eye Radio.
“The background is that since CPA 2006, the issue of dredging becomes necessary and it was discussed by the then government of Southern Sudan before the independence, they accepted and the then government signed MOUs with Egypt,” Igga added.
“So on the 20th September 2021, the cabinet discussed this issue and we resolved that dredging must take place. Resolution number 39/2021 the issue of dredging of water in Bahr el Ghazel and Bahr el Jebel,” Igga continued.
Igga said the dredging initiative has no relation with the continuation of the Jonglei Canal which has sparked opposition and renewed anti-Egyptian sentiments in South Sudan.
“About Jonglei Canal, and open your ears please so that misunderstanding is erased. The resumption of Jonglei Canal is put under discussion and feasibility study,’ he said.
“In the district of Panyijiar, eighty per cent of the population are displaced, they have gone to higher grounds near Malakal and Bor about sixty per cent of the people are displaced they have gone to different areas,” he added.
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