Home | News    Saturday 8 August 2009

Jonglei canal project needs to be revised, South Sudan says

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August 7, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — The Government of South Sudan (GoSS) today reiterated its position on the construction of the Jonglei canal saying its reservations on the project still stands.

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Jonglei Canal (USAID)

“Our reservations are centered around political, economic, social and environmental effects. We can overcome these issues with more understanding between the two sides,” the GoSS irrigation minister Joseph Dawyer told the London based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat in an interview.

Dawyer said that the agreement on the canal was drafted by the central government and Egypt without a say for South Sudan on the issue adding that the project was one of the causes the outbreak of the civil war in 1983 between North and South Sudan.

The Jonglei Canal, started in 1980, is a hydro-construction project in Upper Nile Province of southern Sudan designed to alter the course of the White Nile as it passes through a swampy area in southern Sudan known as the Sudd.

According to Egyptian officials, the purpose of the canal was to ensure the flow of 4.7 billion cubic meters of water annually, to be equally distributed between Egypt and Sudan. However, the canal project was put to a halt in 1983 following the outbreak of the North-South civil war.

The irrigation minister said the projects needs a new “feasibility study” that should be carried out by his ministry.

He also denied knowledge of reports about an Egyptian delegation scheduled to visit Jonglei canal site. The Egyptian irrigation minister had announced that he established a committee to look into the possibility of renewing work on the canal saying it will develop surrounding areas through building new infrastructure and services to the locals.

Egypt is currently in a middle of row with Nile basin countries who are pressing to modify the 1929& 1959 agreements that grants it the lion’s share in the river water.

With almost 80 million people, Egypt’s water demands are projected to exceed its supply by 2017, according to a government reported published earlier this month.

Egyptian officials are worried about the upcoming referendum in 2011 for Southern Sudanese as a vote for secession it might further impact its share in the Nile waters.

A meeting of the nine Nile Basin countries held in Alexandria last week failed to reach an agreement on a new framework pact for water-sharing following intense lobbying from Egypt and Sudan.

Dawyer criticized the exclusion of South Sudan from the Alexandria conference with an observer status.

(ST)

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  • 8 August 2009 06:40, by Maruon Ayiei

    This is a loaded gun to both the grantor and the grantee and if the SPLM/A has just forgotten the history surrounding the Jonglei canal, let them make that agreement. We don’t need any rush to judgment with Egypt until 2011. If they need cooperation with us, they have to wait or shot up. Again, I repeat, this is a loaded open gun. Do you know how many people have shed their blood and than abruptly try to resume and make some forge agreement with Egypt, Ain’t gonna happen. Unless you do it in the air and not on land, we will bring it down again.

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    • 8 August 2009 20:59, by Prince

      For sure, my brother. They Don’t have a word to say, cuz the Nile is our livelyhood all the way to Uganda. Forget the colonizers who made up that bullshit with Eygpt who were sod aay by the Turks for a loan. Now they think they can call shots? Are they crazy? Better ask somebody...

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  • 8 August 2009 06:41, by Kur

    No, NO. Jonglei Canal is done. There is noway any dog is going to dig it again. It will remain a history. Any attempts by anybody to start that project again will bring alot of troubles. We do not need that rubbish development the Egyptians are talking about. Why they do not dig the canal in the desert in Egypt and make the development there.

    Kur

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    • 10 August 2009 11:45, by Arochthon

      For those who always goes on their own direction, now this is the time you must acknowledge the logic behind the Egyptian’s assistance in South Sudan and Sudan as a whole. The interest is very clear that they want to reconstruct their canal, now this is the right time for all southern Sudanese to react. I know some of you will take it just as an issue for Jonglei alone as to these kind hostilities that are going on there and no one who want to intervene or know all about it, but it is a problem for all, if we allow it to be reconstructed then we will have lost what we have been fighting for in all these years.

      For me as Jonglei citizen, reconstruction of that canal is not a big problem because we know how we can solve it if the government failed to do what it suppose to do.we shall fight them right away before it is constructed leave alone the relationship that may be broken or if it is to bring war back to the Sudan or what, we don’t care unless the government response as the minister do, congratulations Mr. Minister, keep it up.

      Arocthon

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  • 8 August 2009 06:44, by Aleu

    There is no need for Egyptian government to Interfere in Southern Sudan affairs. no need for them to come and visit jonglei canal it none of thier bussiness.

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    • 8 August 2009 09:13, by Ajuscommando

      The re-construction of Jonglei canal will create other bloodshed if somebody attempt to operate in our land again. We lost many people life due to this issue of canal created by Khartoum government in 1980 without informing the citizens of Jonglei areas and South Sudan leaders. Jonglei canal problem will bring war between Jonglei citizens and the person who want to operate it again. We have no problem with the person who to take back his machine but the guys who want it to work in the area will have problem with us. I appreciate the Minister to disagree with those who requested this canal to work and explained to them in details as apart of the War in Sudan.
      Jonglei citzens Oyee. SPLM Oyee, New Sudan Oyeeeeeeeeeeee.

      Ajuscommando

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      • 8 August 2009 21:00, by Sala Gai

        You guys

        Acin tong be ka kuom na we yic?
        Alway fearing of war will never help us because fighting between the North and South is not yet finish why? due to the down playing role will let us go back to war. living the Jonglei Canal which is very far and under planning program as we know the GOSS procedure are slow as the people who are working with the Government concern.

        By Salah Gai de Mabior

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  • 8 August 2009 09:06, by K Bambo

    The issue of Jonglei Canal is a South Sudan issue and should not be decided by the government of the day alone, but in a referendum by the people of South Sudan. The “feasibility study” that needs to be carried out, again should not be by the Ministry of Irrigation of South Sudan as the ministry has no skills, experience and/or environmental experts to conduct such an important feasibility studies. Such feasibility study should only be carried out by an experienced international body such as the UN of cause involving the Southerners, nonetheless, I always expect and hope the result will be a big NO. My advice to the minister is not to open the Jonglei file until after the 2011 referendum.

    Ken

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  • 8 August 2009 09:08, by K Bambo

    The issue of Jonglei Canal is a South Sudan issue and should not be decided by the government of the day alone, but in a referendum by the people of South Sudan. The “feasibility study” that needs to be carried out, again should not be by the Ministry of Irrigation of South Sudan as the ministry has no skills, experience and/or environmental experts to conduct such an important feasibility studies. Such feasibility study should only be carried out by an experienced international body such as the UN of cause involving the Southerners, nonetheless, I always expect and hope the result will be a big NO. My advice to the minister is not to open the Jonglei file until after the 2011 referendum.

    Ken

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    • 8 August 2009 10:09, by jacob Duot

      I would like to know actually what the canal project is all about? to me the project of canal is the issues which need all jonglei’s citizens to look into this issues seriously because they are the ones who are going to be displaced later in the future. what Eygpt planed all these years no body know about the project.to me I have not agree on that project at all, because it is a destruction of our properties, our people and our wildlifes if we think of it in long term not just this short term, we the citizens of jonglei state and southern sudan as a whole.the owner of the project have not compensated the losses of jonglei’s citizens, it passed across the land of jonglei destroying people properties and nobody complained about so that to bring this project to hague, and I hope if there is right of property,then the owner of this project need to be taken to hague, because it caused destruction in human lifes,and animals too if i am not wrong during it construction. we dont need jonglei canal again,this will led to another civil war because i know it is among the roots cause of the civil war in sudan. let s Eygptian know that very well. you guys need developement in term of irrigation in your land, but we need this land of jonglei for our people and wildlifes please.leave us alone we have seen the light please.go with your billions dollars and hidden agenda, we dont need them. you have been playing games with us since the beginning, because you think nobody will bother you again because the man who know everything about you very well has gone. we southerners we shalln’t open the door for that, let it come that big giant to swallow us alives.unless you get rid of us, and the whole sudan this is whereby your project will come back to it functioning position.jonglei state citizens wakes up this is another war and it is not going to be fight with weapons. it is going to be fought in professionally ways.

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      • 8 August 2009 12:36, by Makol Dhal

        If you Southerners read between the lines, you will notice the footstep of 1972 Agreement,These are symptoms of shape of thing to come.
        Get your self prepared.
        And you masters,calculate your chances this time before more nonesences.

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        • 8 August 2009 23:18, by Monyde Bai

          These Egyptians are bunches of ignorant beggars. Why on Earth can they forget that it was actually they who united Sudan using their Suez Canal as a bargaining-chip to blackmailed the British to unite the Sudan and leave it under their Arab colonialism. In 1929, they crafted for themselves that crappy Nile Water Share Agreement with their lion share and in the last two weeks, they blackmailed the Sudan Government to join and not to sign a new Riparian Nile Basin Agreement with East and Central African countries of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Congo.
          They are opposing the right of South Sudanese for self determination and denying genocide in Darfur. Now they are talking about resuming digging the Jonglei Canal to drain water from South Sudan. How long will they African people in Central and East African countries continue to die, suffer lack of electricity and irrigation development in the interest of this Egypt? Enough is enough, Egypt must stop. Egyptian delegation must not visit the site of Jonglei Canal. Last week, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in the aftermath of break down of new Nile Basin Agreement stated that they will not wait or seek approval from Egypt before they start developing their hydro-electric powers and irrigation scheme.
          If it means war and military confrontation between Egypt and East and Central African countries, so be it. We in South Sudan will join our African brothers.
          And moreover, we all they Africans and African Americans will deny American funding to Egypt and they will starve in their desert.The same thing for South Sudanese we are not seeking approval for our self determination from the Egyptian nor are we suppose to response to their arrogance intimidation on the Jonglei Canal question.
          Monyde Bai.

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          • 9 August 2009 11:10, by Talent South Produces

            I will not talk more about this message because it is something well known to everybody even unborn child to South Sudan. We can say no to whoever has that attempt in mind.
            Why do we need Jonglei canal by the way?
            Do we need water to run fast to Egypt?
            Do we have any problem in having water around us?

            I will post well classified paper concerning this project/matter

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      • 9 August 2009 11:50, by jonglei son

        First and foremeost i want to pledge my total rejection to the resumption of the jonglei canal project.

        during the colonial period the Egyptians have presented a number of proposals to control the waters of the nile and hence from a 1946 the Egytian govt proposeda a project, Equatoria Nile Project aimed at construction hydro-projects that will ensure total alteration of the Sudd natural regime so that they can use water for agriculture during dry season. the project was a birth child of the 1929 Nile warer agreement. in 1959, the Egyptian govt and North Sudan authorities signed the Nile Water Agreement, followed by proposal of Jonglei canal project, a project that would see that a canal of 15m wide, 8m deep and 360km long from the mouth of Sobat river in upper Nile to the Jonglei Village in current Jonglei state (Ajuong twic area. this canal officially started in early 80s until 1983 when the main excavator was badly damaged by the SPLA forces.

        Why I reject resumption of Jonglei Canal project

        1. the project never incorporated recommendations on environmental protection proposed by Jonglei investigation team (JIT) which opposed the idea to divert over 40 billion cubic meters of water in the Sudd.
        2. the canal will cut across over 365 routes used by the Dinka and Nuer for seasonal migrations to the toiches during dry season and to the highlands during the wet season.
        3. the can would act as a barrier for against seasonal migration of wild animals from western Ethiopia into Jonglei state thus undermining tourism in Boma National Park.
        4. the canal would completely alter the natural regime of the Sudd wetland rendering it unable to sustain a wide variety of endangered, endemic and threatened biodiveristy, lead to drying up of rivers and water points used by the Local communities for livestock, agriculture and domestic water use. the sudd wetland was declared a Ramsar site in june 2006.
        5. the project would not benefit the local community in terms of education, medical facilties,agriculture e.t.c as it was preached so y the developers (egypt) as it was designed to benefit northen sudan and Egypt only.
        6. the project never incorporated the views and needs of the local people as public participation was never done. the sudd and nile are important for the local people for various reasons and their participation in decision making is paramount.

        currently the region is under competing human activities including oil drilling and operations, agricultre, livestock keeping, road and infrstructure most of which do not consider environmental protection.

        by leek philip thon

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      • 15 September 2009 13:15, by Biliu

        To hell with Egyptians, changing any natural river course is forbidden by regulations and international laws on river water, why exceptions should be given to Egypt, Gongoli Canal should not re-negotiated for this time around, maybe after south independence when Egypt proven good-intentions on our new state , otherwise let them continue irrigating their crops with their urine.

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  • 11 August 2009 19:21, by yirolda

    Shame on he/she who says that he/ she will renewed the construction of Jonglei canal inorder to get money that is later be corrupted but not considering it negative effect on the community of the area, don’t you know what is so called land derlection? and our people depend on the land in which ever the way. Idiots any attempt to renewed this construction will be cursed by the martyrs who died for the sake of that mistreatment you revised and said to be beneficial You want to eat just and die? or do you want to leave behind Good things?
    SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSShame ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyoooooooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

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    • 25 August 2009 07:07, by Moses Kur Akech

      Many thank guys for your distinctive stance not just on this particular issue of the Canal but also on general issues which fundamentally touch the future of the South as a nation which is yet in embryonic stage. I am one of those optimists who currently think South will unstoppably achieve its sovereingnty irrespective of the contemporaneous outstanding bumps which are intentionally and repeatedly set up by South enemies to stymie or foil the dream.

      Most interesting, because nearly every Southerner knows the cause, it will make it more harder for enemy to defeat South. Thank everyone, keep the light on, at this stage, I think few enemies who read/ listen to your views undoubtedly know your unwavering position.

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      • 15 September 2009 09:03, by Bee Jay

        You corrupted folks need to keep your hand off this Jonglei Canal. This Canal belongs to the people of Jonglei State, especially the surrounding counties of Twic East, Duke, and Bor South....

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        • 16 September 2009 05:58, by Deng Thiak Adut

          Canal was built in “1980” and “was put to halt in 1983”.
          We believe that the constructions of the canal were among the chief issues that led to the war. The local belief that the Nile project was designed to assimilates the local with Arabs and to create intermarriages or arabisation of the locals, as frame of reference by NIF or Egyptian think tanks. Second issue was to make the local herders life very hard so they can’t live any longer in that area. Thus resulting from water wars between tribes and creating massive immigrations or permanent desertion of the land.
          “To be equally distributed between Egypt and Sudan”
          This statement disregards the existence of Southern Sudan or the people who have right over the waters of the Nile. We in the south especially in Jonglei have greater share and not equal to Egypt or Northern Sudan. We have ultimate right and legal right to in making decision on who receives what percentages. I believe that is stinking gun and Egypt must know that we are the right people to be consulted not the North Sudan, and even not even the South Sudan but the people from Jonglei and the Upper Nile. Even with consultations with locals, the idea of the Jonglei Canal is a mere dream without any substance.
          In response to Egyptian and Sudan demands the irrigation minister said “the project needs a new “feasibility study that should be carried out by his ministry”.
          Again, the Irrigation Minister is dreaming about this project. Because the canal project is defective thus, any minister responsible for “irrigation” should not put himself or herself in this obscure position.
          The right question is, do we really want this canal project to go ahead? What purpose does it really serve? Politically no, economically no, socially no and environmentally big no! The project has no benefit to us and that is the bottom-line. It’s therefore beneficial to Egyptian who have better role in complicating the independence of Southern Sudan
          I carefully quoted “The Egyptian irrigation minister had announced that he established a committee to look into the possibility of renewing work on the canal saying it will develop surrounding areas through building new infrastructure and services to the locals”
          The above statements ignored and do not acknowledge our greater share and decision making regarding the appropriation of water in the South. What give this manic a right to in forming a committee to make decision with respect to the South Sudanese waters resource. We neither want your development of the surrounding areas nor your presence in Jonglei. Egypt is quiet poor and I believe that you would not manage or have any resources to develop the Jonglei area. You must also acknowledge that Jonglei area is not the only states that can suffer from your delusions.
          I warn you earlier that 1929&1959 agreements are not binding on the South Sudan. The recent exclusion of South Sudan from the Alexandria conference disregards our paramount right of Nile waters usage hence; South Sudan will erase you from any future discussion of waters agreements after 2011 Independence.
          Crafted by Deng& Bul

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