Passengers, trucks, and commercial vehicles have been stranded at the South Sudan- Kenya border in Nadapal of Narus Payam of Kapoeta East County in Eastern Equatoria State.
They said this part of Nadapal get worse during the rainy season because the border entry point flooded affecting business activities. Trucks heading to South Sudan have to wait for hours or days for water to recede before continuing the journey.
Some of the passengers said the road condition has hindered them as they spend hours, days, and weeks at the border side.
Our journalist Ibasi Patricia Tobs visited Nadapal border and witnessed the situation. She said several people that spoke to her said crossing the Nadapal border to South Sudan is not easy this week, as many got stranded on the tarmac ends at the Kenya side.
Some trucks bringing goods remain on Kenya’sKenya’s tarmac road waiting for water to recede before they move. For passengers, using commercial vehicles is a different story. They narrated how they struggled to find some energetic guys to carry their luggage to cross the stream.
Many say the tarmac that stops on the Kenya side should have continued because the place that remains is a short distance overflowing with force and risky for many people as they look for an alternative.
Some of the officials who Singaita 88.3 FM refused to be put on record said the situation we are seeing is what they have been experiencing this time of the year. Even their offices get flooded. One of them shows us the water level in the immigration office block.
They say the concerned authority needs to note Nadapal’sNadapal’s stream because it has made life difficult, and it is one of the shortage routes to Kenya without going through Uganda.
Evelyne Losike a journalist working with The Radio community, happened to be one of the passengers who also got stranded at the border. She said the situation is not pleasing at all, people have delayed crossing from either side of Kenya and South Sudan.
”It has been difficult, and it is almost a week. This stream has been blocking both sides of Kenya and South Sudan, and now what you see is people are boarding these vehicles.”
She said those coming from Kenya cross by foot and board from the other side because the vehicle can’t go carrying.
Lily Sunday, a student at Bakhita secondary school in Narus, said she had spent almost four hours and urged the government to build the bridge to ease the movement of people.
”The problem is we came from Kenya, and then we want to cross the border between Kenya and South Sudan, but now the river has blocked us this side of Kenya, you cannot travel to the other side”.
she appealed to the government to build a bridge here to be easy for people to cross.
One of the youth speaking in distress from Kapoeta East County, Lomong Rockson, said he had spent four hours at the border standing.
”We are just staying here and nowhere to pass through, so this is how we are facing it, and now we are getting tired of standing over the number of hours”.
He (Lomong) further encourages the community to construct local bridges along the border so that the road can be passable.”
One of the guys who is energetic and helps passengers with their luggage to cross is paid 2000 SSP, an equivalent of 5USD. The State government is not yet responded to the situation at the border.
Nadapal road is one of the road that connect South Sudan with Kenya and it is one the shortage route what is left from South Sudan.
Last week official from the Eastern Equatoria State said the work is on going as clearance has start and will soon start the construction of that road will linked South Sudan with Kenya directly.