*Vietnam Foundation has completed construction on a further 6 bridges since this article was published, bringing the total number of bridges constructed by Vietnam Foundation in 2023 to 19.
From 2021 to 2023, Vietnam Foundation built 13 bridges in the Mekong Delta, replacing the dangerous monkey bridges and uplifting local communities.
The Realisation Of Our Vision: As a part of our bridge-building program, from 2021 to 2023, Vietnam Foundation has successfully replaced 13 perilous monkey bridges with safe and reliable concrete footbridges. The concrete bridges are 2m wide, 16m to 42m long, and suitable for motorcyclists and pedestrians. This transformative initiative has not only enhanced accessibility but also ensured the safety and well-being of the local population. Vietnam Foundation has again demonstrated our commitment to sustainable development and community empowerment.
For decades, the Mekong Delta’s inhabitants had relied on homemade rafts or the rickety and treacherous monkey bridges to traverse the intricate waterways of the region. These precarious structures, often made of bamboo or other unsuitable materials, posed significant risks to people’s lives. With the daily challenges of navigating these hazardous crossings, the local communities faced immense difficulties earning their livelihood and accessing vital services, education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.
Recognising the urgent need to address this critical issue, Vietnam Foundation embarked on a groundbreaking project to replace the monkey bridges with concrete footbridges. The bridge locations were selected strategically to ensure they improved the transport in the areas.
Enhanced Safety and Connectivity: Completing these footbridges has marked a significant milestone in ensuring the safety and well-being of the local population. Unlike the hazardous and unreliable monkey bridges, the new footbridges are built to withstand the region’s challenging environmental conditions, ensuring the safe passage of people and goods. This upgrade of local infrastructure has not only enhanced the connectivity between communities but has also fostered socio-economic growth by reducing travel distances and facilitating the transportation of agricultural produce to markets.
Improving Livelihoods and Empowering Communities: By replacing the perilous monkey bridges, Vietnam Foundation has positively impacted the lives and livelihoods of countless individuals in the Mekong Delta. These footbridges have become vital lifelines, enabling local farmers to access markets, schools, and healthcare facilities easily. The newly created connectivity has unleashed a wave of opportunities, empowering communities to improve their economic prospects and quality of life.
A Grateful Acknowledgment: This achievement is made possible by the generous donations from several donors, particularly Mr Vu Phuong Diem, Mrs Allison Diem (New Zealand) and the local cooperation of the Ca Mau Buddhist Commune.
Vietnam Foundation’s tireless efforts in replacing the perilous monkey bridges with 22 safe footbridges in the Mekong Delta have brought about a significant positive change. The improved connectivity, enhanced safety, and economic opportunities provided by these footbridges have truly uplifted the lives of local communities. Vietnam Foundation continues to bring hope and exemplify the transformative impact that dedicated organisations can have in promoting sustainable development and empowering communities for a brighter future in the Mekong Delta and beyond.