August 15, 2014
A JICA project to repair the Gulu-Atiak-Nimule road connecting Uganda and war-torn, landlocked South Sudan is contributing to the reconstruction and stability of that country. Civil war broke out in South Sudan in 2013, after the country achieved independence in 2011. South Sudan, a landlocked country, is dependent on neighboring Uganda for many strategic supplies such as food and gasoline. For this reason, every day a lot of supplies pass over the international highway connecting Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and Juba, the capital of South Sudan. The Gulu-Atiak-Nimule road makes up the southern leg of that highway. And Gulu, which is in a strategic position on the highway, has grown beyond being just a well-known city in northern Uganda to become a gateway to South Sudan and an important distribution point in the East African region. In 2009, JICA established a field office in Gulu, and it has carried out uninterrupted assistance on everything from reconstruction to development in northern Uganda. At the same time, the Gulu-Atiak-Nimule road, on which repair work has been performed through a Japanese ODA loan and which connects Gulu with Nimule in South Sudan, has become a lifeline for development in South Sudan. The road, which had been partially unpassable, which had been covered in dust in the dry season and had been a morass of mud in the rainy season, already is being transformed into a comfortable highway that can be driven in about an hour regardless of the weather.