The managing director of Wunkoc Construction Company, responsible for the construction of Akon International Airport in Gogrial West County, Warrap State, has provided an update on the project’s status. Maleng Riing Deng expressed confidence that the construction is proceeding as planned and is expected to be completed on schedule.
To expedite the construction process, the company has enlisted the expertise of engineers from Sri Lanka, renowned for their proficiency in building structures in waterlogged areas. Akon, located in a swampy region, presents unique challenges for airport construction.
“We are currently in the process of piling murram alongside the excavated airstrip. The engineers from Sri Lanka will then backfill the site using black cotton soil and other materials before applying the murram,” Riing explained.
Despite facing delays due to the rainy season, the company is committed to overcoming these challenges. All necessary machinery is on-site, and Riing reaffirmed the company’s dedication to completing the project within the stipulated three-year contract period.
The comprehensive project encompasses the construction of a runway, taxiway, apron, two terminal buildings, and a protective fence.
Addressing concerns about the company’s experience, Riing emphasized that Wunkoc Construction Company was established in 2005 and has a significant track record in executing various projects within the country, including road construction.
“We are not newcomers; our company was founded in 2005 and has successfully completed multiple contracts, including roads, in South Sudan. We were responsible for the Tonj Road, although we couldn’t complete it due to the outbreak of conflict in 2013. ARC has since taken over the road and other related projects,” Riing clarified.
Meanwhile, Gogrial West County Commissioner Victor Wek commended the progress at Akon International Airport. He noted that with the current pace of work, the company is likely to meet the project’s deadline.
“The construction of the airport is advancing well. Engineers from Sri Lanka are actively involved, and murram has been stockpiled near the airport, sourced from Aweil South County in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State,” Commissioner Wek reported. “Compared to the previous year, when they had limited vehicles and no foreign engineers, there is a noticeable improvement. Currently, they have brought in engineers from abroad and have 120 large trucks on-site.”
Regarding the security of foreign engineers, given a prior unfortunate incident involving Syrian workers, Commissioner Wek assured that adequate security measures are in place.
“There exists a positive relationship between Wunkoc Construction Company’s staff and the local community. Additionally, I have taken steps to provide security. South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) personnel are stationed to safeguard the workers and ensure protection against any potential disruptions or violence,” he reassured.