The construction of the 392 kilometres Juba-Terkeka – Rumbek highway is going according to plan despite earlier obstacles of floods that washed away parts of the constructed road. With the 63 kilometres Juba –Terkeka section already tarmacked, tens of traders particularly fish merchants from Terkeka to Juba ply the road daily with extra motivation.

A high level government delegation led by the Vice President for Infrastructure Cluster His Excellency Taban Deng Gai, and the Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan H.E. Ma Qiang last Thursday on a routine inspection couldn’t hide their joy on seeing the smiles on the faces of the traders let alone the humanitarian community and other local residents using the road with pride.

37 year old John Lado says he used to be an ordinary fisherman, but had to change after tarmacking of the Juba Terkeka section of the road.
“My uncle in Juba advised me to stop fishing and concentrate on selling it instead. With the help of a few relatives, I got this Senke bike and now every morning I deliver fresh fish to Juba and Thank God, I have a lot of customers that I supply everyday”, Ladu explains to HIJ as he stopped by to witness which VIPs have come to inspect the road considering the heavy presence of the security personnel by the roadside.
After a few minutes chat, he wipes his sweat with a stained white hankerchief , waved his bye and dashed off towards the city to catch up with his daily clients.

“This Juba-Rumbek Road is the dividend of peace and we are happy to see it boosting economic activities and improving livelihoods. So, I urge all of you to support the construction company Shandong Hi-Speed in their work and to maintain peace”, the VP said.

On his part, His Excellency Amb. Ma Qiang expressed optimism on the timely completion of the project to bring in more benefits for South Sudanese besides heaping praise on the contracters for staying the course despite the several challenges encountered.
“I would like to appreciate the efforts of the contractor Shandong Hi-speed as well as the South Sudanese government for completing the first section of Juba-Rumbek road with high standard and high quality after overcoming series of challenges and difficulties. Its my hope that it gets completed early in order to promote peace and development”, said Qiang.

During the inspection, Hon. Sarah Nene, the deputy governor of Central Equatoria could not hide her joy throughout as she constantly kept gazing like a stranger at the various small scale farming along the road.
“Seeing these small agricultural projects along the road is the real peace and development to me and they are all a result of this road”, she confessed.

expressed her happiness to see the opening of the first section of the project from Juba to Terekeka, and said that this road is a symbol of “the real development and the real peace” as she had witnessed development of agriculture along the road.

The officials also singled out the contractor Shandong Hi-speed for its persistence during the implementation of the project with every speaker commending them for the good work so far.

The Juba – Rumbek highway is part of the governments oil for infrastructure initiative and its estimated to cost more than USD$700 million.