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Ethiopia: rebuilding bridges

Belale bridge in Damot Woyede, Ethiopia, was once a very unsafe place to cross the river. Recently, Concern Worldwide has built a new bridge for the surrounding communities.

A new bridge

More than 100 livestock have been drowned over the past 20 years whilst attempting to cross the river when it flooded, and 40 people have died. The local community decided that a new safer crossing was a priority for the region. So, we raised the money to make it possible. 

The new bridge helps over 50,000 people and connects two woredas, or districts. On market day, the bridge is in constant use; it gives people access to local markets that were too difficult to reach previously.

Market towns

Traditionally, the markets start at 4pm and finish around 8pm, meaning that people were crossing the river in the dark to get home, adding to the danger. With the new bridge, returning home after dark is safer. Now livestock, crops, and other goods can be bought and sold in nearby market towns where people rely on these items for their livelihoods.

Charity programmes

Our programmes in the region have also benefitted from the new construction. For example, the increased amount of crops from our work with farmers can be brought to markets and sold, and fertilisers can be purchased and brought back to where we work.

Crossing safely

Jemaneh Mena, who lives nearby, described the difference the bridge has made to his community:

We have lost so many lives, so much property. We are so happy now. Now we have security to cross the river safely.

However, there is still work to be done in the region. We can help, thanks to your support. Jemaneh said:

We are grateful for the support given to us. We still need structures for drainage and diversion of water. It will then be safe for everybody.

In depth