South Sudan Plans Animal-Shaped Cities

Southern Sudan, where more than 90 percent of the population is living on less than $1 a day, is planning a multibillion-dollar project that would transform some of its cities into animal-shaped communities.

A government official in the oil-rich, but impoverished state said that the current administration is now seeking investors who would be willing to bear the brunt of realizing the $10-billion project. The proposal calls for the remodeling of existing cities to reflect the animals, and some fruits, found on the autonomous region’s state flags. One of the plans is to modify the capital city of Juba so that it would appear like a rhinoceros when seen from above.

The plan comes as the region braces to become the newest country in the world. Southern Sudan will hold an independence referendum in January next year. The “yes” votes are expected to handily win the scheduled referendum, which comes five years since the end of a two-decade long civil war that plunged the region into poverty.

Officials said the plan would help organize the cities that have fallen into disarray due to the war and also promote the region as a tourist attraction. “It’s very innovative. That’s our thinking. It’s unique. It’s the Ministry of Housing thinking you have to be unique to attract the people,” Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning Undersecretary Daniel Wani said.