Odongo Odoyo

Topical Commentary

By Malek Arol Dhieu (Guest)

There has been a bone of contention between the Vice President for Infrastructure Gen. Taban Deng and the Ministry of Environment whether or not the construction of Jonglei Canal be resumed. The VP Taban Deng says the canal construction resumes but the Ministry of Environment, after having weighed the repercussions of the canal and found them hazardous, says the construction of the canal jeopardizes the existence of the Sudd itself and the lives of those who live along it. Clarifying it more to the infrastructure cluster, it would be the joy of Egypt to consume what she had never consumed before because her intention in the construction of Jonglei Canal isn’t only to control the floods, but to create channels for more water to flow to Egypt and other upstream countries. This is evidenced by the fact that Egypt refuses to construct other dams but sets her eyes only on the Jonglei Canal which she has studied to be more profitable than other canals as it is adjacent to the Sudd region. The citizens around the Sudd region are currently surviving on the Sudd activities but when the canal becomes built, it will be controlled by the authorities, therefore making the lives of the people along it more difficult. If controlling the floods is the only reason the Jonglei Canal needs to be resumed amidst refusal of the Ministry concerned and the inhabitants of the area, then there are so many points to build dykes in to control floods rather than the resumption of Jonglei Canal which stopped long time ago because of the reasons best known by the constructors and the inhabitants or former authorities.  Sudd region is one of the largest wetlands in Africa, and because of this, countries known of being jealousy may sugar-coat projects with development need and when allowed, may milk the Sudd to death. This time, South Sudanese should have learnt to identify friends who are fond of stabbing people’s backs and take away what they see is of central importance to their own lives. 

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