August 2, 2014 (RUMBEK) – Authorities in Rumbek, the capital of South Sudan’s Lakes state, have complained that poor road connections are affecting the flow of business to the Greater Bahr el Ghazal region.
The state government and business community said that the road linking Western Equatoria and Lakes state had become increasingly dangerous road due to the large number of potholes and unstable bridges.
Lakes state MP Shadrack Bol Machok, who represents Wulu county’s Domuloto and Makundi constituency, confirmed that poor state of roads was affecting the transportation of goods and hurting the business community.
More than 600 lorries loaded with food and non-food items, as well as a number of small cars, are currently stuck at Sasari inside Western Equatoria state territory.
Machok said road connections between the two states will be impossible unless the section at Sasari is fixed.
Heavy rain is also severely hampering road transport and is exacerbating the logjam at Sasari.
Most South Sudanese depend heavily on road travel for the transportation of good and services due to the high cost of air tickets.
Travellers between Rumbek and Juba are charged about 1,200 South Sudanese pounds (SSP) for a return air ticket, while in contrast the same journey by road will typically cost drivers about 600 SSP.
The Lakes state government has continued to turn a blind eye to roads-related matters, with highway routes often plagued by insecurity in the form of robberies and inter-clan revenge killings.