Bogose Nubea is a remote village of about 6,000 people and has a series of 12 log bridges and a half-kilometer causeway crossing the Nguya River and wetlands. Over half of the population use these log bridges as their connection to the west where the primary market, Bogose Nubea Hospital, schools, and churches are located.
The original bridges were built by Belgium colonialists and once carried truck traffic. Today, the 12 bridges have been reduced to logs are not large enough for vehicles, and motorcycles cross recluctantly. The causeway is now a jungle path.
In Fall 2019, a survey revealed that approximately 1,500 passages are made across one log bridge per day. Often the logs are wet and many people cross by foot, especially women who carry their children on their back while balancing 50 or more pounds of produce on their heads. Last December a man returning to his home, to collect payment for the hospitalization of his wife, fell off a bridge while alone and passed away as he was unable to swim. These bridges are often the cause of accidents causing hospitalizations and death.
THE BRIDGE REPAIR PLANS
PCP is partnering with the CEUM and Hope International Development Agency to construct a series of eight permanent vehicle bridges and stable causeways over the next two years. The bridge design will be similar to what has been constructed and functioned well on the National Highway route between Gemena and Gbadolite over the last eight years. The causeway will be widened by moving dirt with the employment of local people who are using picks, shovels, and wheelbarrows. While this approach is slow, it has the advantage of putting some much-needed money into the local economy and it gives the villagers ownership in the project. US engineers in cooperation with Congolese builders and contractors have prepared a plan to construct these bridges during the coming dry seasons.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Paul Carlson Partnership is raising funds toward this bridge repair project. We plan to complete the causeway and six bridges in 2020, and the final larger bridge over the main river channel in 2021.
We must raise $33,000 each year for the next three years to accomplish this goal, and we believe we can do it with your help! To give toward bridge projects in Congo, click here.
For more videos, photos, maps, and stories about the importance of bridges in DR Congo, visit paulcarlson.org/bridges.