A dream of a bridge in flooding season

In the past November, our project team paid a visit to a Farmer Interest Group (FIG) at Dong Lum village, which is now under the auspices of the ADDA funded project titled “Strengthening Farmer Interest Group among Ethnic minorities in Nghe An province”.  To reach the group’s location, we had no choice but crossing a makeshift bamboo bridge across a stream. Despite the rudimentary and dangerous bridge, it is the only access to a 5 km-long road connecting the village to the centre of the district,   serving the transportation needs of approximately 500 people in the village even in extreme flooding seasons. Talking to the group leader – Mrs. Luong, she said.

In the past, without the bridge, the local people have to wade across the stream to reach the district center. Feeling compassion for children to cross the stream in harshly cold days, about 7 or 8 years ago, the local people had been together to build  a temporary bamboo bridge. However, after a period of using, the bridge was seriously degraded, endangering people who usually travel. In 2010, the Government made an investment in constructing a spillway; however, only after 3 years of utilization, it was washed away by flooding. Until 2013, the province committee continued to allocate approximately 30,000 USD to fix and upgrade the spillway. However, when its construction work just started for only 3 months and was still in progress, it has been also swept away by the flood waters due to the adverse impact of the WUTIP typhoon in the last September.

Due to the frequent needs to cross the stream of the local people, the village leader appealed to each household to contribute a bamboo and labor days to build a temporary bamboo bridge. Mr. Thai – the vice leader of the Farmer Interest Group under the FIGNAHB project was assigned to be the head of the bridge construction committee and directly in charge of mobilizing contributions from local people and managing the construction work.  Due to having discussion within the group in advance, all members of the group are the first ones to contribute and participate in the construction work. 

The makeshift bamboo bridge at Dong Lum village

For the time being, this makeshift bamboo bridge is just to be seen as a provisional measure to ensure the needs of travelling and everyday life. In the long term, a firmer and safer concrete bridge is still an imperative desire of the people at Dong Lum village, which helps to enhance the commodities trading capabilities, cultural exchange and material and spiritual life of the localities here.

Nguyen Ngoc Hung