Viet Nam News
NGHỆ AN — Hundreds of students from Yên Tĩnh Commune in the central province of Nghệ An have to cross the Chà Hạ River over a makeshift bamboo footbridge to get to school each day.
During the rainy season when flash floods often hit the area, they are given days off from school because the crossing is too dangerous.
Lương Thị Xoa, head of Cành Toong Hamlet, one of most disadvantaged areas in the commune, said that the hamlet had 98 families with 428 people living along the Chà Hạ River.
Local residents have used bamboo to make a footbridge across the river to go to their farms on the other side.
The bridge often wobbles when groups of people cross.
Lữ Chuyên, an elder from the hamlet, said he had crossed the river dozens of times a day since he was a child.
“It’s hard enough for adults to cross the river let alone the kids,” he said, adding that local residents had been asking for a concrete bridge for years.
Chà Lúm Hamlet, 15km from Cành Toong Hamlet, is home to 137 families.
Pay Văn Thông, head of the hamlet, said that each day parents helped small children cross the bridge to get to school.
Local resident Kha Thị Hoa said she wished there would be a concrete bridge so that the way to school became easier.
Kids are often soaked when they get home from school, she said.
Vi Văn Lướng, a teacher at Chà Lúm Primary School, said that after school, he usually accompanied the students to the bridge to make sure they cross safely.
Thông said that a flood in 2016 isolated nearly 50 local families for nearly a week.
Vi Văn Khiêm, chairman of Yên Tĩnh Commune People’s Committee, said that local authorities had been looking at where to build concrete bridges to solve the issue.
The bridges are part of an investment plan in Tương Dương District, but as yet there is no indication of when the funds will be released. — VNS