The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is building and rehabilitating thousands of kilometers of roads, culverts, and other essential infrastructure to help improve security, boost economic activity, improve community wellbeing, and support peacebuilding.
This year, the mission plans to repair 2,083 kilometers of roads across the country, including around 500 kilometers in Warrap, 473 kilometers in Western Equatoria, 422 in Jonglei, 400 in Lakes State, 173 in Upper Nile, and 145 kilometers in Eastern Equatoria, among other locations.
"This work will bring many benefits for a wide range of stakeholders, including local authorities, law enforcement, traders, business owners and communities. People will be able to travel safely. Economic activity will increase. Humanitarian aid will reach those in need and communities will connect more easily with each other to resolve disputes and build peace," said Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and Head of UNMISS.
Infrastructure projects are the responsibility of the government. However, UNMISS recognizes the importance of supporting this work, in coordination with national and state authorities, as part of its mandate to help protect civilians and build durable peace.
In terms of road projects, the mission is providing equipment, technical expertise, and labour while the government and local authorities provide the necessary access to carry out the work, and to appropriate raw materials.
UNMISS acknowledges that road work during the dry season can create challenges such as more dust while the work is ongoing. While this causes temporary inconvenience, there is a brief window to get the repairs done before the rainy season arrives.
"Any short-term pain is far outweighed by the long-term benefits for all South Sudanese," said Mr. Hayson.
UNMISS engineering work to maintain and reinforce more than 80 kilometres of dikes and berms in Bentiu is also protecting 300,000 people surrounded by 5,400 square kilometres of stagnant flood waters. This work is a joint effort with local authorities, humanitarian partners, and communities.
The Mission continues to provide support to the Transitional Security Arrangements and peace conferences, particularly providing technical advice, transporting stakeholders, and facilitating dialogue.
The mission is also improving the wellbeing of communities across the country through Quick Impact projects. This year, UNMISS will build or rehabilitate 14 schools, deliver eight clean water projects, five primary health care centres, seven projects promoting women's health, protection, and income generation, and eight projects supporting public administration and enhancing civic space.
"We are also strengthening the justice system to prevent criminality and improve accountability by constructing 23 facilities, including courts, prisons, police stations and training centres. In addition, we are taking justice to the people in a unique South Sudanese system of mobile courts, including the first ever court of this kind which is currently underway in Koch," said Mr. Haysom.
"These initiatives demonstrate our deep and ongoing commitment to supporting the people and leaders of South Sudan across the full spectrum of politics and peace building as well as improving security and the living experience of the communities that we serve."Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).