Sudan has unveiled plans to redesign a number of its cities into the shape of animals. The southern capital of Juba – reportedly one of the fastest growing cities in the world, is to be relocated and restructured into the shape of a rhinoceros, with the city’s regional president taking up office in the ‘beast’s eye.’
Wau – the capital of the south-westerly state of West Bahr al Ghazal, will be shuffled around to create a giraffe, it’s sewerage-treatment plant sitting aptly beneath the tail. The town of Yambio is also up for a re-structure but unlike the other cities, it’s set to become a pineapple.
Aiming to mimic the area’s flag, the ten-billion-dollar plan currently is not definite, with Southern Sudan still to raise funds for the project.
The reason for these shapes is not entirely illogical – they match the symbols that appear on the flags of southern Sudan’s states.
But how will the authorities raise the $10bn they say they need to make this plan a reality? They say they are talking to investors but it is all a bit vague. Although there is plenty of oil in southern Sudan, people there are extremely poor. The United Nations says more than 90% of the population lives on less than a dollar a day. The plans for the new cities perhaps reflect the heady optimism of a potential new independent South Sudan, but whether they will ever get beyond the drawing board is another matter.