The villagers in Yen Bai Province are risking their lives to cross the stream every day as the local bridges have been abandoned unfinished for years.
In order to go to Phong Du Thuong Commune’s centre, the local people have to use a raft to cross a large stream even when it rains or there are storms.
Temporary bridges built by the locals themselves in the commune were destroyed in a flash flood in August so the pupils had to stay home because of high tides. Various places in the commune become islands when there are heavy rains.
Lo Van Manh, chairman of Phong Du Thuong Commune People’s Committee, said, “I’m used to this bumpy road and know every pothole. But I really feel for the children, they walk in the mud to go to school and they are dirty all over.”
The old bridges in Village 3 and 6 were temporarily built by the locals so their quality left much to be desired and often swept away by the floods. The bridges were often swept away six times a year.
Hoang Thi Truong, head of Phong Du Thuong Nursery School said there were eight Phong Du Thuong Nursery School sites in the commune. After the bridges were swept away, over 100 children had to stay home. The parents can’t use the raft to cross the stream because of the strong current.
In Vuc But Village, the residents stay on the raft with their motorbikes and are pulled to the other banks by two ropes. A bridge construction was started in this section three years ago but only two abutments were built.
The main section of a small bridge in Khe Ma Village was completed but the path to the bridge hasn’t been built due to lack of funding three years ago.
The villagers in Vuc But Village cross the stream without life jackets on flimsy raft
The bridge built by the locals in Village 6 swept away by the flood
Villagers can’t cross the stream because of strong current
The small bridge in Khe Ma Village doesn’t have a path or stairs
Putting the coffin on the raft