Mangalla road on construction to boost security
By: Sheila Ponnie
Security on Mangalla-Juba road has significantly improved since the start of the construction of Mangalla road, said Elario Paul Fataki Commissioner Mangalla County.
Mangalla is one of the Counties in Jubek State located on the eastern side with an estimated population of fifty thousand residents.
“I am very happy with the UNMISS construction here in Managalla, they have made a very big difference and it’s a very big part of development in our community. UNMISS has developed our area, crimes have reduced on the road,” Elario said.
The road that had made movement very difficult for people for the past five years is being rehabilitated by the Bangladesh Engineers Construction serving under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan with the aim of linking the town with Capital Juba.
Elario said the Bangladesh’s work has eased transportation for the residents of Mangalla as they were now well connected to Juba.
The UNMISS Peace keepers have so far rehabilitated over 40 kilometers and the whole construction is expected to be completed soon.
“The construction of the road is really something good in our community and we acknowledge the support provided to us by the Bangladesh,” he said.
The Mangalla-Juba road has been one of the major challenges hindering movement of citizens especially business people with report of several attacks along the road in the past.
Peter Wani Ladu, a resident of Mangalla said before the start of the rehabilitation of the road, the rate of armed robbers and killing of travelers was very common along the road.
“The road renovation has really minimized accidents at every corner of the road because it has been widen compared to what it was like before,” Ladu said.
Ladu added that even number of vehicles using the road have increased due to its improvement.
“Before the renovation, very few cars were travelling along the road but now the number has totally increased even big trucks can now travel from Mangalla to Bor which is very good,” he said.
Tong Atak Kuan, a Captain in South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF), said the Bangladesh Engineers have done a very good job in maintaining the road.
“The road condition was really poor because the distance from Juba to Mangalla is around 75 kilometers and before the renovation we used to take four to five hours from Juba to Mangalla but now one can take two and half hours to reach Mangalla,” he explained.
He added that even the transportation prices have been reduced and a lot of business people have started moving into Mangalla community.
Poulino Moga, a youth leader in the Church said apart from the road construction, the peace keepers were doing a lot of resilience activities in the community.
“They helped in building the church, I am so glad and we wish they stay in Mangalla for more three months and support us,” he said.
Nejuwa Suleiman, a vendor in Mangalla town said the poor road condition has been a very big problem for them the business women.
She said with the support of the Bangladesh Engineers constructors, they were seeing new faces in business.
“Before the road was made, it could take eight days for goods to reach us here in Mangalla and we used to suffer waiting for our commodities to be brought by the drivers but now we are happy that the road has been rehabilitated, things have changed and we receive our goods every day,” Suleiman said.
Gisma Khamis, another business woman said the road has improved her business, “we are glad to have UNMISS, this road is finally made before there were a lot of issues, the car could get spoiled on the road for even two days and at times our goods get spoiled and we end up in loss.”
“Now we are able do our business well and we receive commodities on time from Juba to Mangalla. This road is connecting us so fast,” Khamis explained.
MD Sahriar Iftekhar, PSC engineer Major Commander Mangalla TOB.UNMISS Bangladish Engineer Construction Company 19 admitted that the 75 kilometers road repair is vital for the community.
“The economy is directly influenced by the transportation system of the country. Mangalla has River port and important hub for business so if the Juba-Mangalla road is good in that case all the economy will get better,” he said.
Most of the residents of Mangalla County who spoke to Juba Monitor confirmed that it used to take them four to five hours to get to Juba but now it could only take two hours from Mangalla to Juba.