By Philip Buda Ladu
Traders in Wau town are demanding for immediate compensation from the national and State government after at least 41 shops were affected by the Clement Mboro Bridge construction along the Jur River in Western Bahr el Ghazal State, Wau town on Saturday.
The National Minister of Roads and Bridges, Simon Mijok Mijak and other officials witnessed the demolition of 41 shops that fell on the approach road leading to the 230 Meters long bridge named after South Sudanese veteran politician Clement Mboro.
The Clement Mboro Bridge project funded by China-aid and is being implemented by a Chinese firm, Tian Yuan Construction Group was launched early last year and is expected to be completed in 30 months.
“The owners of the demolished shops are urging the national and state governments to speed the process of compensating them, and showing them the land where they can relocate their shops, according to the representative of the affected traders Makair Aney” the Ministry of Roads and Bridges stated in its Facebook page.
However in March the Council of Ministers approved a 50 million US Dollars to pay for damages of people affected by the new bridge project that the cabinet unanimously passed a resolution to rename the new Jur River Bridge in WAu after Veteran politician Clement Mboro.
“A sum of 50 million dollars to be paid in compensation for those affected by the construction of the bridge but the payment should be in South Sudanese pounds. We are not supposed to be paying compensation in hard currency but rather be in local currency so this amount has been approved,” Michael Makuei Minister of information earlier told journalists after a cabinet meeting.
The budget was approved by the Council of Ministers in its regular meeting after the Minister of Roads and Bridges presented the demands for the people affected by the construction of the new bridge.
The affected shops were at the western bank of the Jur River, in Wau Town, Western Bahr El Ghazal State.
According to the national Ministry of Roads and Bridges, the demonization of the shops is a major step towards completion of the Clement Mboro Bridge, as it has been a major obstacle hindering progress on the completion of the great infrastructure under construction in Wau.
The National Minister of Roads and Bridges Simon Mijok Mijak commended the owners of the affected shops for their positive response to the demolition exercise plunged off in his presence in Wau town on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of Western Bahr El Ghazal State, Zachariah Joseph Garang said the people of Western Bahr El Ghazal State lauded the national government for giving them the infrastructure.
He said the citizens of Western Bahr el Ghazal are much appreciative to the national government in its efforts of constructing roads and bridges in the State.