Lakes state, News

Residents fume over dusty road

By Yang Ater Yang


Residents of Lakes State capital, Rumbek Town are expressing outrage over the poor quality of road rehabilitation around the main roundabout.

They accused the UN mission in the country (UNMISS) and the government of using substandard materials that create excessive dust, causing health problems and safety hazards.

One resident, Majak Mabor said the dust is causing coughs, flu, and lung infections.

He claimed that businesses are even shutting down due to the dust.

“Even business restaurants nearby are full of dust, forcing them to shut down businesses because of too much dust and dirt from this road,” Majak said.

“When you dress up in white clothes, this dust will turn it red, and when you put on shoes, it will also turn dirty and dusty,” he added.

He urged the government in Lakes State to talk to UNMISS, Rumbek Field Office to avoid poor renovation of the road in the middle of Rumbek Town.

Also, Abdeziz Zacharia Mansur a businessman, added that the dust forces him to clean his shop multiple times a day and discourages customers from visiting his shop.

“The dust is too much; we clean up our shops because of the dust more than three times a day because the dust continues occupying the shops. It occupies business items. Nobody comes and buys them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Daniel Kon Bol, a bodaboda rider echoes safety concerns amidst locomotions throughout the dust blaming the dust for causing coughs and accidents.

“What I have seen is not something good at all,” he said. “People from the UNMISS field office in Rumbek are the ones who brought the dust and put it here in the roundabout, and now it has brought for us a sickness” he expressed.

For his part Sergeant James Matur Kuek, a traffic police officer in Rumbek town, sees the dust as a potential cause of accidents.

“The UNMISS brought sickness to everyone walking on foot, vehicle, motorcycle, or bicycle in these two roundabouts in Rumbek Town because of dust,” he said.

He warned that the dust smoke could lead to vehicle collisions and injuries.

“Do they want to kill people, or what is it? And I want to say that this roundabout in Rumbek Town will one day make vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles overturn or collide, and even older people, and that’s not a desirable work.”  Sergeant Matur echoed.

Peter Machiek Aguek, the Minister of Roads and Bridges in Lakes State, condemned the poor-quality materials used by UNMISS for the road rehabilitation.

He stated that the materials were previously rejected for another project.

“It happened in the month of August. They brought the same material, which is not good, and I condemned that material, and I sent my engineer to the ministry of roads and bridges to bring the good-quality materials to put on the road going to Wulu County.”

The same is true for this road again; they just sent their engineers and they brought the materials, which is not good.”

The minister urged UNMISS to use proper materials like good marram for leveling and grading the road.

Public health officer James Meen Ater was fumed over the dust created by the road rehabilitation around the Rumbek Market roundabout, calling it a public health hazard.

Ater blamed the dust for causing coughs, diarrhea, and potentially contaminated food due to dust settling on milk and other goods.

He cites public health laws requiring a clean environment for food sales.

Ater warns of shutting down restaurants, tea places, and other businesses affected by the dust, stating that even clothing gets “dirty, red” from the dust.

“The public health department has the right to close down all these businesses, and all these places need to be closed down,” he said. “UNMISS needs to bring the real marram on the road and not dust.”

The residents and state authorities are now urging UNMISS and the government to redo the road with proper materials.

Roads and Bridges Minister, Aguek threatened to remove the substandard materials if UNMISS does not take action.

Meanwhile, traffic police sergeant Kuek questioned UNMISS’s intentions and demands they rectify the situation.


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