A bridge built with support from the UK Government will safely link thousands of isolated communities in Sankhuwasabha District in Eastern Nepal for the first time. The bridge, completed on 29thJanuary, is set to bring an economic boost to families in one of Nepal’s most remote regions, according to a press release issued by the British Embassy.
The 120m steel truss bridge - the longest of its type in Nepal - will connect 174 miles (280km) of roads already built in the area, the region’s only airport and a landmark hydro-electric power project. It will ensure the flow of trade and goods to the east of the country bringing business, tourism and jobs so the people living around Tumlingtar can work themselves out of poverty.
The bridge will also save lives of people paying for the dangerous boat to cross the raging Sabha Khola River during the rainy season. The unique bridge was designed and built to withstand earthquakes and flash floods.
Dominic O’Neill, Head of DFID Nepal said: “This Bridge proves how British aid can make a difference to the lives of help the people of eastern Nepal to lift themselves out of poverty.”
“This bridge is a life line that will allow communities to work and trade so they can send their children to school, access health care and other vital services without relying on aid.”
A second bridge will open in June this year to provide the first year-round crossing of the Arun River at Leguwaghat. It will allow farmers and other traders from five districts in eastern Nepal – Sankhuwasabha, Terhathum, Khotang, Bhojpur and Dhankuta – to reach markets as far away as India.
The bridges, part of Britain’s Rural Access Programme, are the final links in a chain to improve access to roads for 900,000 people who previously had to walk for more than four hours.
Over the past ten years more than 603 miles (970km) of road have been built by DFID in the last decade, providing employment for 24,000 poor families.