Inclusive Bridge to Connect Vibrant Communities
Ca Mau province, Vietnam - The inauguration ceremony of Liem Duyen Hai bridge that connects the two districts Thoi Binh and U Minh across Trem river was held on 13th August 2015. The event was attended by Mr. Nguyen Kien Cuong – Vice Chair of People’s Council, Mr. Duong Van Nam – Director of Transport Department of Ca Mau province, authorities of Thoi Binh and U Minh districts, and local people from Trem river delta.
This bridge was built under the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) scheme by Liem Duyen Hai company limited, with a total investment of VND 18 billion, 22% of which is invested by the UK Aid-funded Vietnam Business Challenge Fund (VBCF) which is managed by SNV. Completed four months ahead of the plan, the bridge has a loading capacity of 5 tonnes and daily capacity to service 1,200 people from U Minh and Thoi Binh districts, and about 1,500 workers in Khanh An Industrial Park in the near future. It has made inclusivity a core aspect of its operations, engaging low-income populations as consumers. The company which is authorised to operate the bridge for 32 years offers a fast and safe 24-hour transport service at an affordable toll fee to customers. Students, the elderly and motorbike riders are toll exempt.
Mr. Nguyen Kien Cuong - Vice Chair of Ca Mau People’s Council – expressed his gratitude to VBCF, local governments of the two districts and local people in the project area for their contributions to the project implementation. He also complimented Liem Duyen Hai company for their efforts in solving geological and logistic problems to meet the quality and safety standards.
This inclusive bridge provides an access to fast, safe, and affordable transportation services for than 10,000 low-income customers. Easier, safer and faster travel will improve connections among densely populated areas of U Minh, Thoi Binh, and Ca Mau city. This in turn will have a positive impact on market linkages and job creation in other poor districts of the Mekong Delta.
The BOT scheme is relatively new to small companies in Vietnam. The success of this business model can motivate many other private companies to replicate it in the Mekong Delta, where the need for bridges is extremely high, and in other regions across Vietnam.