Map showing the 11 feeder roads under construction in South Sudan’s Tombura-Yambio Diocese.
Credit: Tombura-Yambio Diocese

By Peter Mapuor Makur

The Catholic Bishop of South Sudan’s Tombura-Yambio Diocese recently launched 11 feeder roads in his episcopal see, which, he said, would benefit hundreds of thousands when completed.

In a March 16 interview with Ruru Gene newsletter of Tombura-Yambio Diocese, Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala said the roads will facilitate access to essential local amenities and services.

“The areas where the feeder roads are being opened has a population of approximately 700,000 people and the opening of those roads will come with a lot of benefits to these people,” Bishop Hiiboro said.

He added, “It will be easier to access essential services by people who usually get cut off from accessing such services during the rainy seasons.”

“During the dry season, a journey between some parishes can take less time but in the rainy season, it can take more days or weeks to reach destinations,” the South Sudanese Bishop explained.

In Tombura-Yambio Diocese, the year 2021, which is being lived under the theme, “Bible in one hand and a hoe in the other,” has been dedicated to fostering practical evangelization and collaborative ministry.

Under this theme, members of the Clergy, the Religious, Catechists, members of Small Christian Communities, and traditional leaders, join hands in the development of their respective local communities, work of opening their roads, Ruru Gene of Tombura-Yambio Diocese has reported.

The initiative has received support from various entities, including World Food Program (WFP) and Passion for the Needy (PFN). These have donated food items, tools for road construction to members of the community, as well as cash.

“I am so happy to see that the areas where my people live in absolute poverty are being opened by the people themselves. This kind of initiative, this type of gesture is at my heart because this is where my passion, which is for the needy, fits so well,” the director-general of PFN, Gabriel Matthew Gera has been quoted as saying in the March 16 report.

Mr. Gera adds, “I want to assure Bishop Hiiboro of our commitment to (working) together with him and the people to ensure that the initiative is successful.”

On his part, the WFP’s Coordinator for South Sudan’s Western Equatoria state, Ruso Gabriel, commended members of the Christian community for their dedication to the initiative.

“I was totally moved by the love and commitment demonstrated by the community members who heed the call of Bishop Hiiboro to open up the feeder roads,” Mr. Ruso has been quoted as saying,

He adds, “This initiative by the local communities is what got the attention of WFP as well as Passion for the Needy organization to support the local people and ensure that the work continues.”

In the report, Bishop Hiiboro reveals the donation in cash toward the initiative saying, “Passion for the Needy Organization donated about three million South Sudanese Pound (US$.23,000.00) to ensure that the work continues.”

PFN’s cash donation, the South Sudanese Bishop reveals, “was in addition to supporting the survey work where Mr. Gabriel brought in an engineer who assessed the bridges for construction work to be done on them.”

The Bishop continues, “The work is still ongoing and we have to finish it and also organize to see to it that we shall be able to maintain the roads throughout the rainy seasons.”

“We are still in need of more tools that will be kept by the leaders of the communities in the area as well as more resources to be able to fix the bridges along those roads,” Bishop Hiiboro further says, appealing to well-wishers to support the initiative.

He encourages WFP and PFN to “continue standing with the Diocese and the communities to see to the completion of the project.”

Culled from ACIAfrica