The Jonglei Canal Project should be weighed against its socio-economic impacts as well as environmental considerations. If taken in a short- or long-term cost-benefit perspective, the Project we think is a justified undertaking.
One might argue: ‘let everything well alone; change is another word for disaster’. We are not contending that the Jonglei Canal Project, if duly completed, would not bring about a new mode of life for both Man and domestic and other animals. We are contending that the new mode will be a more satisfactory on than that which exists at present. Sudan aims at the transformation of traditional communities to better social and economic horizons, and not the intentional destruction of the traditional way of life. Many overlook the fact that the Nilotes are already changing, and that it is beyond the powers of the political and social systems to confine them to the past.
Nevertheless there are indications that ecologists and environmentalists are far from agreed among themselves as to whether the Jonglei canal is, on balance, a good or a bad idea. But in any case we would like to stress in conclusion that the Jonglei Canal Project is being executed at a relatively fortunate time in Man's history of awareness of the way in which he should be using his natural resources.