By Akol Madut Ngong
The Minister of Presidential Affairs Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said the people of South Sudan were misinformed about the planned dredging of the Nile and its tributaries and the Jonglei Canal project rumored resumption. He made the statement during the launch of public consultations on the Nile waters issues.
The Sudd Wetlands and the White Nile Water resources Development and Management Initiative launched a five days public consultantation awareness campaign under the theme: No Life without Water”: Develop and Manage the White Nile Water Resources and the Sudd Wetlands Sustainably.
The public awareness campaign has been divided into five categorizes, which include; Youth, Ministers, Lawmakers, National and International experts, these will share their ideas on the issue of water management
The Minister of Presidential Affairs, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said people of South Sudan were misinformed on dredging of the Nile and digging of Jonglei canal which caused controversial concerns to the government and the general public.
Dr. Barnaba spoke yesterday during the launch of five days public awareness campaign on the issues of dredging the Nile, its tributaries and the digging of Jonglei canal.
“People were misinformed, it was diffused wrongly, we were talking about the removable of trees in the rivers and Nile itself, we didn’t talk about digging of Jonglei canal” Dr. Barnaba said.
“We are very proud because water is life, what generated this public awareness campaign and people where scared, what generate ideas that the issue of dredging was going to be a resolution to the issue of the flooding” he added.
“This public awareness campaign needs people with knowledge to tell us about our water; it is not a political issue nor need activists. Now it has gone a little beyond, we need information from experts who understand and who also know the interest of the people of South Sudan, so they will be able to share knowledge” he said.
“I would like to assure you that, don’t take our government easy, our government, there are people with knowledge and education, anything to be done, is to inform citizens with knowledge who are the people of South Sudan at large, you have to wait, this is a government sitting until that time comes, this is a public awareness discussion with an input,” Dr Marial stated.
“The expert who have knowledge about the water specifically about the White Nile and its tributaries in the Republic of South Sudan, this public awareness is very important on the issue of public interest, resources and preservation of our resources, “water is a resource as almighty has given to us” it is you, you should have to continue with discussion until you come out with standard report” said the Presidential Affairs Minister.
He underlined that the flooding which happened in many States including; Jonglei, Warrap, Upper Nile, Unity and other parts of the country, flood happened everywhere, most towns are threatened to be washed out by water, stressing that they should reduce the danger of that water spreading to them.
Dr. Barnaba said they have many rivers in this country that give, fresh water availability.
In 2008, the Nile reportedly become very shallow because of a lot of deposits that have been going into the Nile and as a result of that, ship where not able to reach Juba because of blockages and they stop at Mangalla, they can’t come to Juba because there has been a lot of sediment that has filled it out.