Home | News    Thursday 5 April 2012

Survey of new South Sudan capital Ramciel to complete in six months

April 5, 2012 (JUBA) – The survey for the proposed new capital of South Sudan, Ramciel, is expected to be completed within the next six months, reports the official in charge of the project.

South Sudan last year resolved to relocate the nation’s capital from Juba in Central Equatoria State, to Ramciel in Lakes State, which lies in the center of the country, 180km north of Juba. As a result, the government also resolved to suspend any construction on new public buildings for the national government in Juba.

Juba was disqualified for a number of reasons including administrative stalemate over which level of government - federal, state, county and local - its jurisdiction should fall under.

After the decision was made to relocate to Ramciel, the minister of Housing and Physical Planning, Jemma Nunu Kumba, was directed by the cabinet to work out plans for the relocation to the new capital.

A South Korean company, (South Korean Land and Housing Corporation), won the contract out of 66 international companies that competed in the bidding exercise to carry out the feasibility study of the proposed area.

In a meeting on Wednesday chaired by the country’s Vice President, Riek Machar, the minister and the company presented the work done including the aerial imagery survey of the Ramciel to a ministerial body.

The company reported that the next phase will be to carry out the ground survey including mapping, feasibility studies, environmental and social impact assessment, city structure framework and demarcation of zones which should be completed by October this year.

These will also include calculation of land demand by land users and development phases, determination of the size of the new capital as well as determination of the boundary of the capital, among others.

The studies also include site and seismic analysis as well as soil investigation in determining the suitability of the site.

In seismic analysis, the findings suggested that Ramciel is free from earthquakes despite the fact that some of its neighbouring states are prone to earthquakes, according to the records of American geological data on South Sudan.

There have been 67 earthquakes measured over 4.0 magnitude in South Sudan over the last 40 years from 1973-2012, according to the data. Among them, 17 were over a magnitude of 5.0 which can cause severe damage to buildings and structures.

These earthquakes occurred only in the three states; Jonglei 3 time, 4%; Eastern Equatoria, 22 times, 33%; and Central Equatoria 42 times, 63%. The highest magnitude of earthquake occurred in Central Equatoria state in 1990 with magnitude of about 7.0, and was felt as far as Upper Nile state.

The proposed radius of the national territory of Ramciel will be 50km from the center in all directions. It will also include some part of Tali in Central Equatoria state where a new international airport is planned.

The meeting urged the company to accelerate surveying and planning of the area so that the construction of the new capital could commence.

The Minister of Roads and Bridges, Gier Chuang Aluong, was also directed to speed up the construction of trunk roads connecting Ramciel with the other neighbouring states.

(ST)