South Sudan NEWS PORTAL
The Japan International Cooperation Agency says the Freedom Bridge will not be complete by 2021 as planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The construction of the 3.6-kilometer-long bridge was inaugurated by President Salva Kiir and the Japan International Cooperation Agency in March 2015.
But when renewed conflict erupted in 2016, Japanese aid workers were evacuated from South Sudan and suspended the constructions of Freedom Bridge and resumed it in 2019.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief Representative of JICA, Shinya Tomonari, said their engineers have been evacuated, putting another halt to the construction of the bridge.
“The construction of the freedom bridge and it was supposed to be completed by July 2021 but due to coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately, some of our staff have been evacuated for a while but as soon as the coronavirus decreases then we would like to come back to start the construction as soon as possible,” Tomonari told the press on Wednesday.
The initial estimated cost of the construction was $91 million but last year, the government of Japan pledged an additional $28 million for the completion of Freedom Bridge.
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