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New German-funded bridge opens to facilitate regional development

The Xe Samou Bridge in Xepon district of Savannakhet province, built with financial support from Germany worth about 1 million euros, has been opened to the public.
The construction of the bridge, under the “Reconstruction of Infrastructure in Southern Laos” (RISL) programme, began in 2018 and it was completed this month.

Mrs Linthong Sengtavanh and Mr Burkhard Hinz seen officially opening the Xe Samou Bridge.

At the ceremony to mark the opening of the bridge, Mr Burkhard Hinz, the Head of Division, Urban Development and Mobility, East Asia and Southeast Asia in KfW, said: “Roads and bridges are a connection for relationships in different ways, for the people as it facilitates the transport of goods, but also for the meeting of families and friends, and better access to facilities including schools, markets and health services. We are happy to assist the handover today and send our best wishes to the communities on both sides of the Xe Samou bridge.”
The Deputy Governor of Savannakhet province, Mrs Linthong Sengtavanh, appreciated the assistance provided by the German government and people for development and poverty eradication in the two poor districts of Xepon and Nong.
“With this connection, people can have better access from villages to towns and districts. Furthermore, new roads and bridges are key factors to lift up the living conditions of all ethnic groups, especially in areas such as production, trade, education and health services,” she said.
Since 1994, Laos has received substantial financial support from the German government that has contributed to rural development, including the rehabilitation of rural roads to pave the way for connecting rural and remote villages in order to increase income generation and improve socio-economic conditions, according to the KfW Office in Vientiane.
The first phase of the Rural Development Programme (RDP), with a grant of 5.6 million Euros, has been used for construction and rehabilitation of 57.7 km of roads, five schools and a public office in Savannakhet province.
After the heavy rains in 2019, Germany committed to help Laos in the reconstruction of damaged infrastructure. The Xe Samou bridge is a result of this support.
The new roads, bridges and small infrastructure projects will result in more traffic, which has already increased by 180 percent. This infrastructure enables people living in remote areas to reach important facilities all year round, quickly and safely.
Such mobility increases household incomes, contributes to mitigating poverty, facilitates access to health facilities, and allows young people to attend school.
The phase I of RDP started in the last quarter of 2018 and is to be completed in June 2022. The purpose of the project is to build sustainable climate-resilient rural roads and other infrastructure, as well as improve the maintenance of roads.

By Times Reporters
 (Latest Update June 24, 2022)


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