to Gary Simpson from soil collection volunteer
- Do you have any "Michelin" maps of Africa?
Look down in the south part of "Sudan",
and you will find Juba. Look further south and you
will find "Yei". The map should show the
road from Juba to Yei, so just as you see where it
leaves the town of Juba (along that road), you would
find the commercial venture called "Terrain
Camp" on the south side of the road a) if it
were a NEW aerial photograph-type map, and b) if
the scale was appropriate! I likely have photos of
the general area, in fact, as well as a few aerial
shots of the camp itself.
I will arrange for the GPS coordinates of the exact
location where the sample came from (which was inside
the camp security fence).
Our team was in supporting the Office
of the President (of So. Sudan) with both logistical
and advisory personnel.
I was the "Regional Security Advisor", and
I have lots of photos from the air and the ground of
many areas within a 2 hr. flight radius of Juba. Someone
else requested photos of sunrises and cloud formations
(???) so I have quite a few of those also, plus material
from Nairobi and Kampala.
Yes, the soil sample collection date
would have been about March 7th or 8th, as I recall.
The temp was running
about 114 F. every day, the few early rains had brought
no relief as of that time (in the mid- to upper-80's
now), and the biggest hardship was airborne dust and
lack of physical infrastructure ... no real water distribution
beyond private boreholes, and barrels/oil drums filled
from water trucks. Waste was handled by 'honey wagons'
or nature.... don't ask. Electric power was intermittent,
often "off" for much of the mid-day heavy
load time, and again later at night. Most firms had
their own generator sets, boreholes, and guard/security
folks, and there were about 35-40 miles of paved road
in an area roughly the size of Texas. Schools were
limited mostly to the few larger towns, likewise any
health services (supplies were another matter) and
illiteracy was said to be over 95%. Planned neglect
by the North and disdain for the humanity of the non-muslim
Southerners is nowhere more manifest than in the inexcusable
neglect of education and basic infrastructure ... many
of the main streets in Juba are nothing more than a
series of potholes ('hog-wallows' would be smaller
... one "charmer" which we traversed numerous
times would have been just right for a small herd of
hippos....4 large SUV's could have fit into it at once!).
There is serious talk of building a new capital ...
which would likely be wiser and cheaper than trying
to work around the problems inherent in Juba today...
lack of a viable land area for expansion, questions
of land ownership and property rights from the local
area tribal group, a geography that precludes efficient
layout of water and septic lines or storm sewers, and
issues with running power lines as well. The local
area is not good terrain for cell phone coverage, so
this is spotty at best, and both phones and such internet
connections as exist are severely impacted by rain
(i.e., they stop working for indefinite lengths of
time). Juba is also hotter than many relatively nearby
areas, which is not a small concern!
The story could go on, but lets not
get negative and critical here ... the reality of
the above should be
demoralizing enough for those who dream of "Kunta
Kinte" going back to Ghana/Africa, etc. South
Sudan is NOT "Africa Light"! - J