South Sudan, JICA unveil new-look Albino Bridge

South Sudan, JICA unveil new-look Albino Bridge

The Government of South Sudan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) officially opened the Albino Bridge after its successful completion.

Speaking during the launch event on Friday in Juba’s Kator, the National Minister of Roads and Bridges, Simon Mijok, said the bridge was put up using sophisticated technology that will allow it to stay in proper shape for years.

The minister said the partnership between South Sudan and Japan had yielded fruits through infrastructural projects and past training of engineers.

“I am directing the directors to find the full name of Albino, and for all the bridges in Juba, we want to put the names on the signed post,” he directed.

“We are not going to change any names; we are using the names we are already getting. We only give names for new infrastructure,” he said.

 The representative of JICA, Mr. Tanaka Hiryokuki, said the bridge is the first of three in Juba built as part of a Japanese funding project.

According to him, the project began in January 2023, targeting three bridges, and Albino Bridge is one of them.

“With a grant project, three bridges will be constructed, namely the Albino,  Giada, and Kokora bridges. This grant project aims to enhance the traffic network in Juba by upgrading the bridges. The construction of the two remaining bridges is ongoing, Giada Bridge and Kokora Bridge are expected to be completed later this year,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Japan, Watanabe Tomoko, stated that Japan has passionately supported South Sudan since its independence.

Tomoko said more than $70 billion was injected into UNMISS development projects and humanitarian assistance.

The AIbino Bridge was built in 1969 and has yet to be repaired since then due to little maintenance.  The bridge was becoming worn out and the foundation was deteriorating.   It was also close to the lifespan of concrete structures, which is 50 years. The bridge, located in the commercial area of Malakia in the Kator district, required replacement.