Cabinet to review water ministry’s river dredging plans, invites foreign experts

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Cabinet to review water ministry's river dredging plans, invites foreign experts
Cabinet to review water ministry's river dredging plans, invites foreign experts

Africa-Press – South-Sudan. South Sudan’s Information Minister Michael Makuei on Friday said the council of ministers is still waiting for the presentation of the plan by the ministry of irrigation and water resources to dredge the Bahr el Ghazal basin.

He also said the government had invited water resources management experts and eminent scholars in the area to come and give guidance on the matter.

Before his untimely death on 19 June, the minister of irrigation and water resources, Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, was set to present his ministry’s plans on the dredging of the Naam River in Unity State to the cabinet. The deceased minister had been flown to Cairo, Egypt, with chest pain and later succumbed to heart complications.

While addressing the press after the weekly cabinet meeting on Friday, Information Minister Makuei said that the council of ministers decided that the irrigation and water resources ministry present the plans to dredge rivers in the country.

“The cabinet decided that the ministry of irrigation and water resources present the plan which was prepared by the late Manawa Peter Gatkuoth and that it should be presented so that we (cabinet) deliberate on it in the next cabinet meeting,” he said. “It (cabinet) also agreed that a team of experts will be arriving in Juba. One expert is coming from Oxford, another from Canada, and the other from the USA.”

“These are the experts on water resources management and they will come and give us lectures on all these issues, in addition to our local experts,” Makuei added.

The government spokesperson said the foreign experts and scholars will arrive in Juba on 14 July and will brief the cabinet, parliament, and general public on the issues of the Nile and its tributaries.

Makuei noted that the government had observed that many civil servants and members of the public are overreacting and cautioned against discussing the issue of dredging rivers on social media from an uninformed position.

“People are advised, being a public servant or private (individuals), to refrain from all this and all the time approach issues from an informed position and not to abuse social media,” Makuei warned. “The cabinet is advising the public accordingly that let us first wait and hear from the experts’ point of view.”

The information minister said the three visiting professors will back up the national experts and will discuss the matter from a scientific perspective and determine whether river dredging will be ideal or not.

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