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UN Peacekeepers Build Dike to Protect South Sudan Village

U.N. peacekeepers from South Korea break ground in 2014 in South Sudan's Jonglei state. Bor, the capital, has not suffered seasonal flooding since the 17-kilometer dike was built.

South Korean peacekeepers have started building a levee to help prevent flooding in a village in South Sudan's Jonglei state, local officials said Thursday.

Panliet village was bypassed when a 17-kilometer flood-prevention embankment was built by U.N. peacekeepers last year. That dike has helped to prevent seasonal flooding in the Jonglei state capital, Bor, this year, officials said.

The mayor of Bor, Nhial Majak Nhial, said the extension of the dike that the Korean peacekeepers are building will measure 2.4 kilometers.

Majak also said a reinforcement levee might be built near the village of Malualchaat to prevent flooding there. Malualchaat is at the starting point of the 17-kilometer dike that runs all the way to Areek village, 5 kilometers north of Bor.

Majak says the dike system is a long-term project that he hopes will become part of the landscape of Bor. "If we maintain the dike properly, I hope it has the lifespan to go for over 20 years... even go up to 30 years. So we have an embankment that is going to be part of the infrastructure of this city.”

Jonglei state minister of physical infrastructure John Amuor Kuol said Bor residents have not been affected by seasonal flooding since the 17-kilometer dike was built . He said that, based on the good experiences with the long dike, local residents called for the 2.4-kilometer extension to be built.

The dike construction project is funded by the government of South Korea, and members of the Korean military engineering unit of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) are carrying out the work.