• Short Summary

    A new Bailey bridge across the river Nile has just been completed near the southern Sudanese capital, Jude.

  • Description

    A new Bailey bridge across the river Nile has just been completed near the southern Sudanese capital, Jude.

    The new bridge was badly needed to allow the quick passage of United Nations relief meterials to the Negro Minority of southern Sudan, who are recovering from 17 years of civil war with the Moslem north.

    Food, construction materials and other relief supplies have been transported overland from the Kenyan port of Mombasa through Ugandan capital, Kampala, north to Juba and the war-ravaged areas.

    The river crossing was formerly serviced by an old ferryboat, and relief trucks were sometimes delayed for several days.

    The bridge cost 2.25 million U.S. dollars (1 million pounds sterling) It was financed jointly by the Sudanese Government and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees from funds donated by the Netherlands, Denmark and other U.N. number states.

    A Dutch company built the 236 metre (about 200 yards) bridge in what it claimed was a record-breaking three months. Twenty Dutch workers, trained to construct off-shore drilling platforms, worked twelve hours s day, seven days a week to build it n schedule.

    They lived in a sophisticated Safari camp supplied with electricity and cooling facilities. Working under the blazing Sudanese summer sun, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius (110 Fahrenheit), they each drank nine litres (19 pints) of purified Nile river water a day.

    The construction of the bridge was part of an overall United Nations relief programme of 20 million dollars (8 million pounds sterling) for the one million refugees left homeless in southern Sudan when the civil war ended two years ago.

    The people of Juba have reportedly been impressed with the speed of the construction -- so impressed that they have apparently forgotten the legend of an ancient King who is said to have demanded a human sacrifice for the bridge.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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