Home | News    Sunday 22 April 2007

100 news primary school to be built in South Sudan - WB

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April 21, 2007 (JUBA) — World Bank will build 100 new schools in various parts of southern Sudan, the tenders will soon be advertised and weather permitting the construction work is expected to start at latest in September this year, the WB said in a press statement.

World Band Getahun Gebru, speaks with GoSS minister of Education Science and Technology, Michael Milly Hussein (WB)

In a meeting with the Task Team Leader of the Education Projects supported by the World Bank administered Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Southern Sudan (MDTF-S), Getahun Gebru, on Friday April 20, the Minister of Education Science and Technology, Michael Milly Hussein urged the team to speed up the work as by July most parts of Southern Sudan will be inaccessible due to heavy rains.

The team told the Minister that everything was set to begin except that the Government has not yet identified all the sites where the schools will be built. The Ministry promised to follow the issue of the sites with the State Ministries of Education so that they would urgently send the school locations in order for the tender documents to be completed and advertised.

According to the Minister some progress has been made this year in the implementation of the MDTF supported projects as opposed to the previous years. He however expressed his disappointment with foreign contractors involved in the renovation of the Government buildings.

He accused them of failing to complete their work in time. “These people think we in the Sudan are so raw that we can be exploited at will,” the Minister remarked. He said he would prefer the next tenders to be given to local contractors.

Explaining the initial slow pace in implementing the MDTF supported projects the Under Secretary of the Ministry Mr William Ater attributed it to the difficulty of working with the World Bank methods which are new to Southern Sudanese officials.

“The Bank did not give us enough manpower support,” Ater commented. But he said with the recruitment of the implementation support consultants funded by the MDTF, work has begun to flow well. “I now admire the World Bank methods,” the Under Secretary said. “The good thing with the World Bank regulations is that the funds are well utilized,” corroborated the Minister.

In his analysis of the challenges facing the infant Government of Southern Sudan, the World Bank Country Human Development Coordinator, Bassam Ramadhan says, the Government has qualified but few personnel who are overwhelmed with work.

“You find a surgeon also doubling as a procurement officer because of the shortage of personnel” Ramadhan explains. According to him other factors affecting work are lack of office space, and IT facilities and the question of remunerations for the overworked few qualified people.

As a way of resolving some of these problems the MDTF has provided some technical operation staff to assist some ministries and some UN agencies are assisting in providing office spaces and IT support.

The MDTF was created after the Oslo donor conference in 2005 where donors made pledges worth $4.5 billion for humanitarian assistance, rehabilitation and developmental projects mainly in war affected areas of the whole Sudan. Because the pledge was made soon after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Nairobi, most Southern Sudanese think the pledges were entirely for Southern Sudan.

Speaking at the opening session of the second Sudan Consortium in March this year the President of the Government of Southern Sudan General Salva Kiir Mayardit cautioned those who spread rumours that the $4.5 billion was already remitted to the coffers of the Government in Juba. He said Southern Sudan has a share of only $400 million from the MDTF for reconstruction and development.

(ST)

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