Ricostruire il Kenya un ponte alla volta

Res publica   20.08.10

Attraversare un fiume in Kenya può essere impossibile durante le piene o significare la morte per la presenza di coccodrilli.
Il lavoro di Harmon Parker è quello di costruire ponti sicuri in grado di collegare villaggi e rendere sicuro e costante l'attraversamento dei corsi d'acqua più pericolosi.

Parker has been building bridges ever since, and in 2003 he founded the nonprofit organization Bridging the Gap. The organization oversees the building of bridges that not only save lives but connect isolated villagers to resources that can improve their way of life.

"When it floods, people really suffer not being able to get to the clinic or the market or to their school," Parker said. "Like every people, they have dreams. They want to prosper."

Since 1997, Parker has helped build 45 bridges in Kenya. He estimates they've affected tens of thousands of lives, but he insists his work is not about the numbers.

"I have built many bridges in very remote areas for the 'few and the needy' that a larger organization may not consider," he said. "Knowing this bridge will probably save at least one life is what makes me tick... I build bridges because I want to save lives, lives that I will never know about."

Parker's hanging footbridges are simple in design, with an average length of 120 feet and an average cost of about $6,000. They are built using basic materials and local tools so villagers can maintain them and make repairs when needed.

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