Juba town map (scale 1:2,500), produced by the Sudan Survey Department on six individually numbered sheets dated between June 1938 and Sept. 1949. Each one is mounted on cloth (60 x 80 cm.) and held by the Library of Congress, G8319.J83 1949 .S8. I've stitched them together a bit badly (sorry!) and served them up as tiles to allow you to zoom in and out. The slider allows you to locate yourself on a present-day map of Juba, which also shows how poorly I've geo-referenced the 1938-1949 maps.

These maps were produced between 1938 and 1949 and revised in 1949. Juba had earlier experienced a period of rapid growth during the Second World War, when it was an important link in the African Forces Line of Communication (AFLOC), the supply line linking up the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States to Cairo and the North African campaign. Juba’s population doubled (from 4,135 to 8,265) during the four years following the end of the Second World War.

In 1940, Juba had an official population of about 1,600 people, comprising 57 European Government officials, missionaries, and traders, 132 Northern Sudanese officials and traders, 1,397 Southern Sudanese ("subordinate Govt. employees and local labour," in the phrase of a military handbook of the time), and 27 Egyptians. There were about 4 private cars and 15-20 commerical lorries.1

Power House & Electric Lines. Electric power was put in in 1939 and the pumping system was electrifled, providing electric lights and fans to houses, offices, and shops and a filtered water supply to the town's sanitary district.2 The "Native Lodging Area" was neither electrified nor provided with filtered water.

Churches & Mosques. In 1927, Eastern Equatoria was made an autonomous Apostolic Prefecture, which is a kind of ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a prefect (rather than one like a diocese or bishopric, which is under a bishop). Giuseppe Zambonardi (1884-1970) was appointed Prefect and took up residence in Juba. (This required an exception to the spheres policy, since Juba is located on the west bank of the Nile, a CMS zone.) The Roman Catholic Mission built a headquarters in Juba in 1934, and Saint Joseph's Church was opened by 1935.

The British Government demanded Zambonardi's replacement by a non-Italian following the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. Zambonardi left in 1938 and was replaced by Stephen Mlakić (1884-1951), who was born in Austria-Hungary (in Fojnica, Bosnia) and worked in Khartoum (1920-1927), Port Sudan (1931-1933), Yoynyang (1927-1931, 1933-1937), Malakal (1937-1938), and Juba (1938-1950).3

The Al Atiq (old) Mosque was built in 1939 for Muslim officials and traders.4

Native Officials Club. The Native Officials Club was built in 1936. It was put forward "on both social and health grounds." "At present the native officials have nowhere to go in the evenings except their own very unattrative houses and as a result tend to sit in the street outside a shop where they are heavily bitten by mosquitoes. There is a very definite demand for a building of this kind, which will be intensified by the increase of staff resultant on the province amalgamation. I had hoped to be able to convert an exisiting building, but there will be none avaliable."5

Public Health Dept. Pubic health was organized under a British Sanitary Inspector. Bucket latrines in Juba's sanitary district were cleared by hand and truck.

P&T Office. The Post & Telegraph Office. The Ministry of Telecommuncations and Postal Services is presently located on this plot.

Forest Reserves. Two forest reserves are present on these maps. The Juba Reforestation Area was an forest of 152 feddans that lay to the south of the Wireless Transmission Station in the triangular area formed, today, by Ministries Road, University Road, and Unity Avenue. The Juba Forest Reserve lay along the river and to the east of the aerodrome and north of Juba town. This forest reserve helped to meet demands for firewood for bakeries, tobacco curing, and other uses in the growing town.


1  Compiled by General Staff (Intelligence) Headquarters Troops, H.B.M. Government, The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan Handbook of Topographical Intelligence (Khartoum, October, 1940), 67.

2 Government of Sudan, Report on the finances, administration and condition of the Sudan (1939-41), p.76

3 Fr Francesco Chemello, A Long Love Story: The Comboni Mission in South Sudan, from the beginning 1857-2017 (Bibliotheca Comboniana, 2017). P. Francesco Chemello, Una Grande Storia D'Amore (Bibliotheca Comboniana, 2021). Fr. Francesco Chemello, The Comboni Missionaries in South Sudan: An outline history (Fondazione Nigrizia Onlus, 2017). In those days there were Catholic missions in Rejaf, Torit, Isoke, Palotaka, Okaru, and Kapoeta.

4 Anon., 'The Growth of Juba,' Great Britain and the East 61 (December, 1945), 41.

5 (Juba Archive) EP/9/B.1 p.88. P.W.D. Form No. 1. 1936 Bulding programme. Province Buildings. Native Officials Club.

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