Two Bridges Connecting Communities, Accessing Markets and schools. 

27 June 2023|Emmanuel Loboka

Related: South Sudan

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) South Sudan has been implementing projects such as protection assistance and solutions, mental health and psychosocial support, education, and peacebuilding for IDPs and returnees in West Equatoria State since 2013. These projects have impacted the lives of many South Sudanese, including children, people with disabilities, women and men, and the elderly.  

In 2022, JRS South Sudan renovated two bridges in West Equatoria State: Uze and Sue, with support from UNHCR- QIR (Quick Impact project) in collaboration with the Western Equatoria State Ministry of Physical Infrastructure in Yambio.  

The two bridges were rehabilitated to facilitate people’s access to cultivable land, enable children to attend school, and facilitate the transport of produced products to market. They also connect the communities. Prior to the rehabilitation of the two bridges, it was very difficult during the rainy season as floods usually last three to five days, making it impossible to cross the bridges to get to markets, farm or attend schools. After the rehabilitation of the two bridges, people can now reach markets, farms and schools.  

In an interview, Christine -Protection Coordinator of JRS South Sudan- said:

I thank JRS and UNHCR for taking the initiative to rehabilitate the Uze bridge. A bridge that has saved the lives of thousands of people by providing access to markets, schools and farms. I urge JRS to continue such initiatives. Let us work hand in hand to support the communities of Western Equatoria and make the most of the bridge and its relief forums.
Christine Ismail, Protection Coordinator of JRS South Sudan

Indeed, the Uze Bridge connects Gangura County to Yambio town, providing access to markets, schools (primary and secondary) and hospitals. The renovated bridges connect the communities of the two towns, linking farms, markets and schools. When we were on the Uze bridge, we saw a pastor walking to the other side of the bridge to hold a Sunday mass. We also saw two men on bicycles, one carrying a bag of charcoals and the other carrying bananas to the markets in Yambio.