Posted on June 13, 2022
JUBA – South Sudanese activist Edmund Yakani is urged the country’s Reconstituted Transitional National Legislature to intervene to help stop the planned dredging process of rivers without proper studies.
Last week, the country’s ministry of water resources and irrigation announced the arrival of a 21-truck convoy to Bentiu, the capital of Unity State, from Egypt via Sudan carrying river dredging machines.
There was a plan in place for an Egyptian-sponsored process to clear the Naam River of weeds impeding water flow, one of the reasons that are being blamed for devastating flooding by residents of the oil-rich state.
But contradicting statements right from the presidency to the ministry of water resources and irrigation regarding the project has cast doubt on the viability of the process with experts and prominent personalities disagreeing with the plan.
Speaking to Sudans Post in an exclusive interview this morning, Yakani who is also the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said the contradictions between the government institutions in Juba indicates that the project is not well coordinated and accused Egypt of having hidden agendas for being hurry in bringing in machines.
“The conflicting information between the various government institutions clearly tell the public that this project was not well coordinated and Egypt has a secret interest in pushing for the dredging of the rivers across South Sudan so faster,” Yakani said.
He urged the national parliament to intervene to stop the process so as to protect national interests, pointing to communications by experts on the negative impact of the project on the country.
“The national parliament should intervene to ensure that our national interests are protected from external forces with bad intention. Environmental experts have clearly communicated accurate information on the negative implications of river dredging across South Sudan,” the activist said.
“Therefore, CEPO is totally feeling there is no proper government planning and public sensitization on the project of dredging of the rivers. Finally it is for the best interest of south Sudanese for this project to be stopped first before proper environmental assessment of the project is done,” he added.
Yakani further said the continued “denial by the office of the president demonstrates that the top leadership of the country is ignorant of this river dredging project. Office of the president being ignorant is a serious national security concern since the project is dealing without environmental future of our wetlands around the rivers targeted by the project.”