South Sudan inaugurates Haboba and Luri bridges

President Salva Kiir has officially opened two new bridges connecting the nation’s capital Juba to Western Equatoria and Western Bhar El Ghazal states.

The Luri bridge and Kubri (bridge) Haboba were inaugurated on Wednesday, June 22.

In his remarks, the President said the two crucial infrastructures will connect farmers to the city and facilitate access to regional markets as the country embarks on larger infrastructure development.

“As a landlock country, our access to regional market depends on good roads and bridges. Internally, our access to production areas is another key area that these bridges will serve. The opening of Luri Bridge connects Juba and towns with production areas in Western Equatoria, and as a result, we expect the immediate benefit of increased local trading.” he emphasized.

Luri bridge has claimed the lives of several travelers in the past – mostly during the rainy season.

Margret Fozia Emmanuel, the Commissioner for Mundri East County in Western Equatoria state described the construction of the bridges as a life-saver and a means to economic opportunities.

“Luri bridge has taken many lives of Western Equatoria people… I want to thank the President for commissioning Juba, Mundri, Maridi, Yambio, Tambura, and Bhar El Ghazal road today. This has already given a sign of peace to the people of South Sudan,” she stated.

The Luri bridge collapsed in 2012 and its banks were washed away due to mining of sand by local communities, the Ministry of Road and Bridges disclosed.

In this regard, President Kiir directed the Ministry to protect the bridge and also control the movement of heavy trucks.

“Control cargo weight carried by trucks across the bridges effectively. The ministry needs to create a public awareness campaign to educate the public about this (protection of bridges) to ensure compliance,” he said.

For his part, the national Minister of Roads and Bridges, Simon Mijok Mijak confirmed that they will regulate truck loads before they access the bridge. Only trucks carrying 56 tons will be allowed to cross.

He also mentioned that “…the Ministry of Roads and Bridges is developing a cohesive policy and planning a framework to transform road transport into a modern and sustainable effective one.”

The two bridges are the third major infrastructure commissioned by the President this year.

In May, President Kiir opened the Freedom Bridge in Juba for vehicles and pedestrians. The bridge constructed with support from the Japanese government is a major infrastructure that connects the country to the East African region.