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FiaDiabio-Tambura and Diabio-Ezo Roads Inaugurated in Western Equatoria State’s Food Corridor

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USAID

FiaDiabio-Tambura and Diabio-Ezo Roads Inaugurated in Western Equatoria State’s Food Corridor

JUBA—On June 13, 2011, U.S. Consul General in Juba Ambassador R. Barrie Walkley and USAID Mission Director William Hammink will join Western Equatoria State Governor Colonel Joseph Bangasi Bakosoro, and other senior Government of Southern Sudan officials at Tambura, to witness the completion of construction and official inauguration of the Diabio-Tambura Road (105 kms) and Diabio-Ezo Road (77 kms). Together with the Yambio-Diabio road section, these are the first engineered all-weather gravel roads in Western Equatoria State.

The roads are fully funded by USAID at a total cost of $37 million. They represent the longstanding partnership between USAID and the Ministry of Transport and Roads, as well as with Western Equatoria State.

The Yambio-Tambura and Diabio-Ezo road segments are part of the USAID-funded roads program that extends from the Yambio roundabout to the town of Tambura in Western Equatoria State, for a total length of 185 km. It also includes emergency repairs from Diabio Junction to Ezo town (77 kms).

In addition to road construction, the project has opportunities for local roads contractors. The main construction contractors for these roads were EYAT, PAYII, Rhino Stars, Gbudue, and CIVICON. Four of these five contractors are Sudanese firms, and the other, CIVICON, is a Kenyan contractor that has been operating in southern Sudan since before the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005.

Western Equatoria State, known as the bread basket of southern Sudan, is rebuilding its agricultural capacity as southern Sudan continues to recover from decades of war. Small-scale farmers now sell surplus produce in the local markets.

Because of USAID-funded road improvements, travel time from Yambio to Diabio (80 km) has been reduced from more than 4 hours in October 2007 to 1.5 hours currently. This has improved supply of goods and services and overall development of the area. Employment and business opportunities for Sudanese nationals have also increased, with more than 500,000 residents benefiting directly or indirectly as a result of these roads. Ezo can now be reached in 3 to 4 hours from Yambio, and Tambura can be reached in approximately 4 hours from Yambio.

These efforts are part of a broader array of nearly $300 million in US Government road infrastructure assistance that includes the 192 kilometer-long Juba to Nimule Road, the first major paved road in southern Sudan, as well as the Bandame Bridge in Central Equatoria State; and emergency repairs to the 100 kilometer-long Pagak-Mathiang Road in Upper Nile State.

In addition, 30 local contractors have been trained and gained work experience through USAID’s road programs, which will contribute to maintenance and sustainability of the roads.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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