5 staff perished amidst freedom bridge construction

Freedom bridge which has been officially inaugurated/photo

By Staff Writer

At least 5 people have been reported dead; the president of Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), Dr. Tanaka Akihiko said sickness and misfortune has triggered the dead of the workers.

Dr. Akihiko made the acknowledgement while addressing the inaugural celebration of freedom bridge in Juba yesterday. 

He said that two of the workers fall fell into the river and passed on, while the other three died of sickness in the course of freedom bridge construction.

The construction of freedom bridge commenced in 2013, and then the work was suspended three times due to conflict in December 2013 and July 2016, in addition to COVID-19 outbreak in the beginning of the year 2020.

JICA president commended South Sudan government, in particular the ministry of road and bridges, and all parties which involved in the construction.

Dr. Akihiko said that the freedom bridge was made to contribute toward economic and logistic development, nation building and human resource development, as well as symbol of freedom to the new nation.

“The freedom bridge will contribute to the economic and logistic development of the region, the opening of the first permanent bridge on the Nile in South Sudan will contribute not only to social and economic activities in Juba, but also to stabilize the humanitarian aids to the displaced persons and war affected people living in rural areas; therefore, this bridge will promote peace and stability in South Sudan,” Akihiko said.

Furthermore, he stressed that the bridge will strengthen the connectivity of East Africa by the international corridor from the port of Mombasa, Kenya through Uganda to South Sudan, and advance national buildings.

JICA boss revealed that 200 engineers and brokers from South Sudanese have gained various skills through their corporation with Japanese engineers.

He added that, students from the University of Juba have also benefited from educational opportunities.

Similarly, Dr. Tanaka Akihiko has urged South Sudanese to embrace peace and stability throughout the country, and gain the opportunity for freedom and development that peace and stability will be offering.

He pledges support to the new nation through cooperation and consultation of peace and economic stability.

“JICA has three key priorities; first, accelerating the peace process; two, improving the foundation of economic infrastructures; and three, assistance of social services improvement. JICA will peruse these goals through varieties of expertise, agricultural sector corporation and promotion and participation of youths and women in social and economic activities,” the president of JICA stated.

In his final remark, Dr. Akihiko said that the ties between Africa and Japan lies in three pillars are which includes; achieving a sustainable and inclusive growth and reduce economic inequality, realizing sustainable and resilient societies through human security development, and building sustainable peace and security by supporting Africa initiatives.

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