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Bridging the gap

The river that runs through Hoang Su Phi brings life to this green and fertile valley, but in the rainy season when the waters rise, it becomes nearly impassable without a bridge — a bridge that families have long dreamed of but couldn’t afford, until now.

"Travelling was extremely difficult, especially for the students who crossed the river to get to school every day, says Dang Thi Ha, a local resident. The nearest bridge was 6 kilometers away, adding an hour each direction for those who must make their way on foot.

Before construction of bridge in Hoang Su Phi

Even in the dry season, the river presented big challenges.

Knowing what a difference a bridge would make for families, local residents enthusiastically offered up most of the materials and labour for the project.

“Male or female, young or old, everyone was excited and happy to be working very hard,” says Vuong Van Ban, a local project team leader. “People stayed at it even when temperatures dropped and the water got very cold.”

During construction of bridge in Hoang Su Phi

All community members pitched in to make improvements.

Thanks to the communal effort, the project was completed in a month.

“We are so pleased,” says another local resident. “Safety has been increased, children won’t be kept from school, and trading has improved with other villages.”

Completed bridge in Hoang Su Phi

A safe and short route!

"My way to school is so much easier” confirms 10-year-old Dang Thi To, one of 200 students whose future just got brighter, thanks to the new bridge.


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