Government pumps over $28 million into water reservation scheme

By Staff Writer

The government has on Friday approved $28.3 million for the purchase of equipment to help in water preservation to aid irrigation and other agricultural activities.

Michael Makuei Lueth, the Minister of Information and Communication, said the projects were approved after Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation presented his work plan during a cabinet meeting in Juba.

Makuei disclosed that the money is already budgeted for in the 2021/22 fiscal budget.

“Of course, this equipment is not only for this year, but they will last for longer and they will be in a position to serve the whole of South Sudan and other ministries who might need the services,” he told journalists.

Some 8.3 million people are at risk of hunger this year due to drought and conflicts in the country that disrupted farming.

Makuei denied alleged controversial plans by the government to resume the development of the decade-old Jonglei canal.

Nearly 840,000 people have been displaced since last year in South Sudan after the banks of the Nile River burst leading to the worst floods in decades.

The Jonglei Canal was a project started, but never completed, to divert water from the vast Sudd Wetlands of South Sudan so as to deliver more water downstream to Sudan and Egypt for use in agriculture.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), led by John Garang, halted the construction of the canal in 1984.

The dispute over the Jonglei canal, and access to Nile waters, added a significant environmental dimension to the post-1983, second Sudanese civil war, in which disputes over the religious, linguistic, and cultural elements of Sudanese national identity also played prominent roles.

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