By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei
The First Vice President, Dr Riek Machar has thumped up to the resumption of the Jonglei Canal digging amid growing public criticism over the disrupted project.
The Jonglei Canal was a project initiated by the then Sudan and Egyptian government, aimed at draining the waters of the Sudd wetlands into the Nile, but the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement was against the project which they fought against and halted it in the 1980s.
However, Dr. Riek Machar who was part of the then SPLM/A liberation struggle has this time come out to give green light for the resumption of the project saying there is nothing wrong with its completion, this comes amid recent mix reactions from the citizens sparking heated debates and campaign on social media.
Speaking during the launch of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM-IO), party membership registration program in Juba over the weekend, Dr. Machar the First Vice President said it will be of help to the flood affected citizens if they give Egypt the little water that submerged them.
“So if we give them the few water that submerge us, and we remain with the other, is there any problem,” Dr. Machar opinionated.
The SPLM/A-IO chairman and First Vice President disclosed that it’s true they have several communications with the Egyptians, but according to him there is no Egyptian who is opposing South Sudan as country to her own dams.
He stated that 85 percent of water Egyptians are using is from the Blue Nile which means only 15 percent is the one going from South Sudan to Egypt.
“Until now they said Egyptians don’t want us to dig our dam, you people, we do talk with the Egyptian yes, and no Egyptian is against Fulla Dam or any other Dam, the reason that the Egyptian are not against this is because, most of their water, comes from Blue Nile, 85% of Egyptian water is from Blue Nile, 15% is coming from us,” asserted Dr. Machar.
However, the FVP cautioned the people allegedly with interest to stop misleading the citizens, and start giving the real information to the public.
“There is this subject that some people say don’t talk about it, the topic about the digging of the Jonglei Canal, 40 years since the time the digging of the Canal Jonglei was done, this canal was started before 40 years and people still stick to the ideas that people have already forgotten before 40 years ago, when you say the digging of Jonglei Canal is good/okay they think you are Egyptian traitor, is that not so, but where is our interest in the digging of the Jonglei Canal,” Dr. Machar questioned.
“I believe that our biggest State in South Sudan is Jonglei, should we not develop it, but this would be possible if the digging of the Canal is completed, because its civilian land, it’s a big land, you can cultivate in it the food for the entire country, you can cultivate it there, and it’s a flat land too,” he lamented.
He further slammed the people asking them if they really know how much important and benefiting it would be for the Country if the Jonglei canal digging is to be competed adding with question of how the Country isn’t yet in position to control or used it water.
“Now our water, we are not managing to control it, you don’t have the ways to control them, for you to manage your water, to control them; it’s a must to have dams to control the water, like the five dams that we wanted to work on longtime, Until now we have not done them, this five dams are the one that will manage to control the water, the Bhar el Jebel water,” he explained.
“You don’t have Control over this water, it just goes, even if you work on the five dams, you will not manage the water that goes to Ganylel from Yei, okay so now go to the eva, the river that goes, and then connect to Gil and proceed to connect with Rumbek and Cueibet and then connect to Madol, there they call it cashar, there is also another one in the middle river Naam, it also flow to Madol, they all flow to the lake called Abadi, you are not managing to control it,” Dr. Machar echoed.
Dr Machar said people say things they don’t know, that they are still waiting for the scholars,
Machar further stressed that, the people who have the right to complain about the too much flow that the Jonglei canal would cause are the Sudanese in Khartoum of the Northern Sudan because they have a low Land that in case if water is to accumulate, they can be vulnerable to the flood.
“So Now the one who are supposed to complain if there are too much, will get into flooding are the people from Sudan, because their land is a low land like ours, so if we finish the digging of the Jonglei Canal, we will have doors / guides, that close it and open, and if you have the ship that need to pass there you can open it and then close,” he stressed.
“That if our citizens hear that there is digging of Jonglei Canal they protest, last time if it wasn’t for the Jonglei Canal then Bor would have flooded all over, now about 277 km of the canal is already complete and have 40year, let the citizens understands and let people who have interest not start saying things that will spoil the Country, by lying to the public/community, about the Jonglei Canal, beside rivers regulate themselves,” he said.