Hà Tĩnh residents make buoy to cross river

Update: February, 14/2018 - 14:00
Women pulling a rope to move a buoy on the river. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ TĨNH — Residents of central Hà Tĩnh Province made a large buoy to cross a local river after its bridge was swept away by floods in late 2017.

A community of 60 families in the province’s Cẩm Lĩnh Commune in Cẩm Xuyên District is separated from the outside world by Khe Gin River. Following a storm in September, the small bridge across the river awas destroyed, cutting off residents.

While a new bridge is yet to be constructed, local residents used banana trees and recycled foam to create a buoy as a means of transport.

They tied a big rope from the riverbank to the opposite bank to control the movement of the buoy with hands.

The buoy can accommodate two adults at once. While some consider the buoy a smart way to travel, others fear about safety.

Kiềm Thị Tiềm, a local resident, said there have been two instances when the persons travelling in the buoy fell in the river. Fortunately, they were able to swim to safety.

Nguyễn Thị Hà, another resident, said they had to travel frequently each day for daily needs as well as to farm their lands on the opposite side. The low load capacity of the buoy, therefore, was hindering travel.

Without the buoy, locals need to travel for 4km on a rocky road to find a bridge across the river.

Trần Đình Lam, the commune chairman, said the local budget was not sufficient for a 24m bridge – the estimated cost is some VNĐ3 billion. The commune has asked for supports from the district authorities, but has got no response so far, he said.

Meanwhile, for residents of Hương Thủy Commune in Hà Tĩnh Province’s Hương Khê District, boats are a traditional means of transport to cross the Ngàn Sâu River. There are no bridges in this mountainous locality to serve the needs of its 1,000 families.

Nguyễn Văn Thực, a boat sailor, was quoted by a local newspaper as saying that he has worked as a sailor for almost 30 years and that the local people pay him rice instead of cash.

Nguyễn Xuân Thọ, the commune chairman, said travelling by boats was risky during floods. He said locals were waiting for a concrete bridge, the site for which has been surveyed, but the date to begin construction has not been announced yet. — VNS