News, Politics

Oyet ignites efforts to dredge rivers  

By Akol Madut Ngong

First Deputy Speaker in the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly Nathaniel Oyet Pierino has reignited the fading hot debate on the dredging of Naam River in Unity State saying they must seek solution to ensure that rivers are dug deeper to accommodate much water.

He said the rivers embedment should be made wider enough to hold the country’s own water even if they come in bigger volume.

The Member of Parliament who is also the deputy chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) alleged that a lot of people had politicized the matter of water resource management in the country arguing politics should be put aside on the matter as it is about saving lives.   

The First Deputy Speaker was speaking in Juba over the weekend, as a special guest addressing the social gathering organized by Unity State Graduates Union under the theme: “Graduates are the pillars of progress and prosperity”.

He acknowledged that they know the devastating flood situation, is not only a disaster in Unity State but it’s a climatic factor related to environmental change that has affected South Sudan at large and it is world threat.

“For us as leaders of South Sudan, as leaders in government, we are seeking short and long term solutions to this problem of the floods though we have divergent interest from this particular matter,” he stated.

Oyet said this matter of water management whether to dredge rivers or create dikes, whether to use machineries’ imported or brought from other countries or not, that should be a priority.

“The priority is about saving lives, save lives of women and children, the elderly people and the common man who are submerged in Unity state and around the Country” he said.

“If the problem is overflow in the Nile River and also other rivers then we must seek solution to ensure that the rivers are dug enough to own our water whether they come in biggest volume” he said. Oyet however underlined that a lot of people politicize this matter. “I have ever made such statement, we are saving life and politics aside” he emphasized.

 “It is a very sole responsibility of the government to ensure that lives of the citizens come first” the 1st Deputy Speaker hinted.

“The discourse on dredging, on water management is key to the management of the floods situation, we know the Nile flow from East African countries to our country, and the climatic factors in East African regions may lead to the Nile River overflow,” he pointed.

“For us who are along the Nile mainstream always will be faced with problem, more rains in East Africa, means more water flowing to our territories, what could we do? is it done to reserve more water and we control water, is it dredging to ensure that the river basins are able to move more water dikes to ensure that the water doesn’t flood our areas of settlement? He questioned

Oyet stated that they are engaging with the executive on this matter of water management and floods, adding they have to rescue lives of their people.

“If the parties in the executive want to politicize this matter for us in the parliament who represent every single citizen of this country, we cannot entertain” he echoed.

The lawmaker said there is a lot of infighting in Unity State contrary to their expectation, he questioned, why must they allow such infighting to jeopardize livelihoods of the citizens?

“One day, power will go back to the people, the people who are now running, the people who are now submerged, the people who fled to refugee camps, they will be given the opportunity to determine who shall be their leaders” Oyet underscored.

He noted that they shall work for a free, fair, and credible elections in South Sudan for people’s rights to determine who shall be their leaders whether at the national, state, county and payam levels and this is the only way the citizens will hold their leaders accountable.

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