By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit pledged to build a permanent dyke to prevent future flooding in Jonglei state.
President Kiir, visited Bor on Thursday, to assess the damage of floods and inspect the ongoing construction work of the Juba – Bor road.
This is the first visit of President Kiir Mayardit after 9 years. His last visit to Bor was during launching of disarmament exercise on March 12, 2012.
Jonglei has been ruined by the country’s six year conflict that broke out in late 2013, and the recent flooding, with rising waters destroying much of the local infrastructures and displacing thousands of locals.
Kiir also stated that the floods that displaced thousands of people from their homes last year is not yet over.
He revealed that Uganda is working to release more water into the Nile river which will increase water level in the Nile.
President Kiir said his government will engage in talks with the government of Sudan to open their reservoir dam.
He further promised that his government will build a permanent dyke for citizens to return home and cultivate in peace and harmony, but without clear strategy .
Speaking a rally at the Dr John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology in Bor capital of Jonglei State, Kiir extended his solidarity with a victim of floods.
“I was coming to visit you to see the impact of flood in the area. Indeed, I have seen it remained of cows, and I believe this disaster has also taken the people’s lives. Another flood is coming, and people should prepare for it, and you will be supported as you are fighting the flood,” said president Kiir.
President Kiir thanked the youth for their tireless efforts in finding temporary solutions to the broken dykes along the Nile River which has displaced thousands and urged the population to stay in their homes despite the devastating floods.
The president has also encouraged citizens to be self-reliant by boosting local food production to reduce importing food commodities from neighboring Countries.
Meanwhile, State Governor Denay Chagor commended the president’s visit, saying it enabled him to see for himself the condition of the people affected by the flooding.
Bor residents were expecting the President to address insecurity in greater Jonglei, such as child abduction, cattle raids, and communal violence between Dinka and Murle, but he focused on flooding only. The citizens also anticipated that President Kiir will talk about the disaster management strategic plans to end floods in the area, brief citizens on remedies to address violence, repair roads, health, education, and end inter-communal violence in the restive State.
“His visit gave us hope; but we wanted him as a President to improve insecurity and floods,” said Adau John, a resident of Bor.
The observers commended Kiir’s visit to the violence and flood-stricken region, hoping his rally in the town would draw greater attention to their issues.
Political analysts describe President Kiir’s visit as an attempt to revitalise his faction’s grassroots and garner support after a shaky few weeks for the party (SPLM).
President Kiir’s visit to Bor comes shortly after his Senior Advisor, former Jonglei State Governor and Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk criticised himself and the SPLM for not having ‘done anything to make a better society following country’s independence.
The UNMISS Human rights report this week said community-based militias were responsible for 78 percent of killings, injuries, abductions, and conflict-related sexual violence on civilians, as well as documented killing of 2,421 civilians in 2020, more than double the previous year.