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02/21/2013

Road conditions to our project sites

It takes about six to seven hours from Juba, the capital city, to Morobo County and Kajo Keji County, where JEN ia providing trainings and monitorings. In order to explore the people’s needs for the assistance in Yei County which is located next to the two Counties, we have gone back and forth between those Counties for three weeks with Elizabeth, who is from Kenya and taking the role of project officer.
Since the road from the capital to the project sites was developed by the financial aid from Japan, we could drive very smoothly and comfortably for the first one hour by four-wheel-drive car.

For the last five hours, however, it was a very tough ride for us, driving on a chaotic and wide red soil road like above picture. The car was largely tilted to one side and we were bouncing in the car all the way. On the way to the destination, we could not find any shops except for a very small outside market at a village.


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Sometimes when we passed villages along the road, we saw women and children carrying plastic buckets filled with well water on their heads.

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We see young people traveling long distance on small motorcycles, but almost all villagers walk or hitchhike when they go somewhere.

There was a handmade bridge made of logs over a river, but when we were passing the bridge, one of our tires got stuck between the logs. (As you can see from the below picture, the tire actually got stuck in the middle of the bridge)

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Sometimes when the bridges are too narrow for cars to pass, tires can get caught in the river below.

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Even though we conduct regular check-ups of the vehicle and also check the car’s condition before every departure, because we drive over six hours everyday on bumpy roads, sometimes on the way back to Juba, the shock absorber would break down.
As described above, traveling by car, which is usually very comfortable in Japan, is not always easy here in South Sudan. Moreover, there are rarely alternative routes. Therefore, in South Sudan at times of emergency, it is essential to have secured some communication media, and always carry useful things like tools, fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, food and water.

February 21, 2013 in South Sudan |