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Siyiapei River Bridge Construction

As you may have seen from our Facebook updates, we are really excited about OFDC’s latest endeavor to increase educational opportunities to children living in rural Kenya, specifically to those students attending Ololoiboti Primary and other surrounding schools. Children living in this rural area, which is accessed only by foot or tractor, are unable to attend school during the rainy season because severe flooding of the Siyapei River makes it impossible to reach their schools. In addition, the sick are not able to get to the hospital and goods are not able to get to market.

In search of a remedy, OFDC contacted Bridging the Gap Africa (BtGA), an organization dedicated to building footbridges in order to prevent drowning and ensure safe, uninterrupted access to education, health care and economic opportunity.

Last March BtGA’s engineering team visited the community of Ololnturoto, surveyed the proposed bridge site, and before we knew it, designed a suitable and sustainable bridge for these school children. OFDC provided 80% of the cost of materials and the surrounding village raised the remaining funds, as well as provided volunteer labor. BtGA provided the expertise, management, engineers, and pay for skilled village labor to assist with the bridge construction. By the first week of July the anchors and towers for the project were complete. Once the cement has cured for at least 28 days they will set the cables and hang the bridge!

According to Harmon Parker, BtGA Founder, “There is a really good spirit at the bridge site, which always makes our projects more enjoyable.” OFDC wishes not only to thank BtGA for this amazing collaboration, but also Mr. Tajeu Evans Yenko, Head Teacher of Ololoiboti Primary School, for helping to coordinate fund raising and village volunteers. This bridge is in line with OFDC’s mission of Empower Women so they can get their goods to market, Educate Children so they can go to school, and Enhance Health for All so the sick can reach medical care. Asante sane!

Nia Z. Sherar, OFDC Founder/Chair, and Tajeu Evans Yenko, Ololoiboti Head Teacher, crossing the Siyapei River via the old log bridge, which washes out when the river rages.
Graphic rendering of the Siyapei River Bridge
Construction beginning for the Siyapei river bridge

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