A group of local workers are being trained on the tools used for the road work. Since this project started, WFP has repaired 2,600 km of road. Copyright: WFP
The impact of the South Sudan Road Project reaches far beyond delivering food aid. The vast majority of all commercial and humanitarian activities as well as the delivery of social services by the Government of Southern Sudan have directly benefited from the WFP roads programme. Here’s how.
- Improved roads allow access to previously isolated communities, schools, health centres and markets. Travel time for people accessing markets and health centres has been cut in half along major routes. For instance before 2004, travel time from Kaya (Ugandan border) to Rumbek, an important logistics hub for WFP, was anything between 2- 4 weeks, and cases of trucks loaded with food being stuck for several months were not uncommon. Today it can take 10 to 12 hours.
- Commercial businesses are growing and new activities are on the rise.
- Insecurity along these routes has also vastly improved.
- The cost of public transport has decreased by as much as 50-60 percent in some cases, which has led to an increase in the number of people using the roads.
- Daily bus services are operating on all opened routes.
- Improved roads have also affected the prices of basic commodities, leading to a decrease in some areas.
- Small scale trade has increased, making essential supplies such as food stuffs, beverages and medicines available at a reduced price.
- Improved roads have also facilitated the return of displaced people.
- The UN peacekeeping mission has also been able to mobilise due to the roads and demining carried out.
- Employment and training for Sudanese nationals has had a direct benefit for the sector and local communities along the routes.
The road project has already had a substantial impact on the development and economy in the area and if the success can be maintained, it will continue to greatly benefit the area and its communities.
Copyright: WFP/Steven Mann