Hundreds of residents of South Sudan’s Unity State capital Bentiu have invaded the Nam River from all over directions to go on with what they call ‘manual dredging’ to clear the river weeds and mud impeding water flow, just days after President Kiir ordered halt to government dredging initiative.
Speaking to Sudans Post in Bentiu this morning, several dredgers said they have taken it upon themselves because their children are dying because of floods and therefore cannot wait until when they all die after the decision of the president to halt the initiative.
“We are here as you see, to dredge the River Nam of weed. This weed has caused issues without life. This flooding issue is unprecedented. It has never taken place since this part of South Sudan came into existence,” one woman carrying manual dredging material said.
“When those machines that are in Baar (military barrack) arrived, we got a sense of relief, but because some people have valued the live of animals more than our lives because they are in the hotels in Juba, the president of South Sudan decided to listen to then for reasons we don’t know,” she added.
She added: “So, we have no choice because if the president himself has joined the ‘team anti-dredging’ that is against the lives of the people of Bentiu, then we are making the dredging to happen whether they like it or not.”
One of the residents who said he came from the UNMISS POC said he heard of the plan yesterday and had mobilized others who he said are on the way to Nam River to help in the dredging exercise which he believe will help in the reduction of floods.
“The whole of Rubkona, including the POC where I come from is full of water. We heard about this initiative and we decided to come to help. I have mobilized others and they are on the way. We know that it is dangerous, but we have no choice since the government is not concerned,” he said.