AUTHOR: Elizabeth Lochapio | PUBLISHED: July 13, 2023
Section of Magwi County roads in Eastern Equatoria State. |Credit| old Courtesy picture
In the next few months, residents of Kapoeta South County in Eastern Equatoria State are likely to miss services especially the food commodities due to poor roads during the rainy season.
Lino Lobai, a commercial driver who uses the road frequently, described how he and other colleagues spent days as they experience tough situation along the poor roads leading to the county.
“I travelled yesterday from Lopola and it rained on the way. I spend the night on the way in Nangorigomo because my vehicle got stuck on the road due to too much mad along Longeleya” Lobai narrated.
Lobai said he was able to get help from his fellow drivers on the following morning jut to learn that one of his colleagues was also experiencing the same situation.
“…another driver Marino Lotaak traveled from Napetait and passed via Nachilagur, got stuck on the mad and his vehicle is broken down. He also spent a night there and other three vehicles that left for Napetait yesterday evening, also spent a night on the way,” He continued.
The driver said the worse level the road is getting to is likely to stop drivers from taking goods and services to Kapoeta South market especially during the rainy season which will affect the residents and even the drivers’ families.
“The road is a problem and for us the drivers we are facing a lot of problems on the roads and we are facing by ourselves all these challenges,” Lobai said.
A Local trader, Lokor Lobai who operates his business in Napetait and Lopola bomas of Kapoeta South County echoed driver’s worry saying said this will lead to hike in food prices as they may not be able to transport essential market commodities such as cooking oil, sugar, flour and beans to the areas due to poor road network.
“The prices of the commodities in the market especially the trading centers in the villages might go high because there will be no goods transport to the centers and since it will be raining and the roads will be impassible, and no vehicles will be travelling,” Lokor underscored.
Kapoeta South is a county in Eastern Equatoria State with about with population of about 70,000 people. It’s located approximately 20 kilometers south of Kapoeta town.
South Sudan is a landlocked country with the challenge of roads connectivity inside the country and to the neighboring countries in the region. The national government recently embarked on road developments connecting the states and the neighboring countries but the states still have challenges in fixing feeder roads within and to their counties.
So far, the only paved road linking South Sudan to the East African region is the 192-km Juba-Nimule, which was built by USAID and handed it over to the government in 2012.