Home | News    Thursday 4 July 2019

Reconstruction works on Upper Nile University campus begins

July 3, 2019 (MALAKAL) – Reconstruction of Upper Nile University started on 29 June at a ceremony graced by a high-level delegation of government, academic and United Nations officials in Malakal.

The map of Upper Nile state

“Today, our dreams are becoming reality, work is kicking off and we will continue to keep the momentum moving forward together until this job is done,” said the minister of higher education, Yien Oral.

He thanked the Japanese government and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for their commitment to restore the university.

Central Upper Nile State governor, Peter Chol Wal said the university’s return shows life and prosperity returning to Malakal town.

“The time is now for rebuilding and you have my assurances of the highest regard that the government of Central Upper Nile State will ensure the security of the rehabilitation works as well as maintain the peace in Malakal town,” he said.

Japan’s Ambassador to South Sudan Seiji Okada said they are very glad to support the reconstruction of Upper Nile University.

“The return of 5,000 students and personnel will be the key, and we hope it offers local people job opportunities and will benefit people across the country. We hope to see reconstruction completed quickly and I hope to return to Malakal very soon with our dedicated partners for an inauguration of the campus,” said Okada.

Officials said the refurbishment work launched on Saturday will focus on key facilities of the main campus aimed at enabling students specializing in economics, human development, public health, and education to be able to relocate back to their home campus.

“Rebuilding Upper Nile University is not about restoring to a previous starting point, but about building back better. This university, and the wider Upper Nile region, must become places where people wish to return – not for physical structures – but for opportunities to pursue their dreams: to work, to earn a decent income, and to provide for their families. Part of the way that UNDP does business is to ensure and see to it that the local communities are benefiting,” explained the UNDP Resident Representative, Kamil Kamaluddeen.

“We want to put that multiplier effect in action here,” he added.

Kamaludden further said the project will seek to use local materials and local labour to accomplish the reconstruction requirements.

The head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Malakal field office, Hazel Dewet emphasized the importance of bringing to bear humanitarian and development operations to Upper Nile.

She pointed out that UNMISS supported over 300 young people in vocational skills training applicable to the reconstruction works.

“We look forward to seeing a significantly large development of the community here and look forward to more opportunities to create an enabling environment for returnees to go back to their home communities,” said Dewet.

In April, the South Sudanese government signed an agreement with these partners to support the reconstruction of Upper Nile University’s Malakal campus.

(ST)