The World Food Programme (WFP) has begun critical maintenance work on the Saura – Li-Rangu and Li-Rangu – Nzara road, including the rehabilitation of critical sections on the 30km Yambio- Gangura road, in Western Equatoria state as part of ongoing efforts to improve farm-to-market access and improve food security in rural areas.
Located on the southern part of the state capital, the road is the artery through which the local economy pulses, making trade possible between local communities as well as between South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, the road had developed potholes which impacted transport, leading to harvest losses as farmers could not deliver their produce to the market on time.
“Yambio-Gangura is a vital road to the community of Western Equatoria state,” says Mbiko Barakati the County commissioner of Yambio.“It greatly contributes to the social economic development of the state and combating the threat of food insecurity in Yambio.”
The rehabilitation work will be supervised jointly by WFP engineers and counterparts from the State Ministry of Physical Infrastructures as part of WFP’s capacity building initiatives.
Infrastructure projects such as this are critical to improving food security. This road links farmers to local aggregation centres and agribusiness markets, supported by international donors, to enhance food security in the Equatoria region.
“In Yambio there has been a complete turnaround and instead of providing food assistance to farmers whose crops have failed, WFP is buying food from those same farmers who are now producing significant surpluses,” says Mary Ellen McGroarty World Food Program (WFP) Country Director and Representative in South Sudan. “A key part of this success has been connectivity, farmers are able to access markets and aggregation sites much faster which has reduced losses. Families and communities are also able to access markets and social services, helping provide a holistic approach to food security.”
The road maintenance works are funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands which, through its embassy in South Sudan, has been supporting WFP to implement the Feeder Roads Improvement and Maintenance Project (FRIMP) since 2018.