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Footbridge ends danger to community folks

Sa wala pa kining footbridge daghan na ang na aksidente dinhing lugara, ilabi na sa mga bagyong nangagi. Lisod kayo ilabi na sa mga estudyante nga molabang diring dapita. Nakalasan na kinig kinabuhi sa usa ka bata samtang naglabang gamit ang gakit (makeshift raft), nalambud ang pisi hinungdan nga natuwad ang gakit ug nalumos ang bata (Before this footbridge was built, accidents happened here especially during typhoons. It claimed the life of a child who was crossing the river using the makeshift raft, when the rope he was holding on got tangled which caused the raft to capsize),” shared Salome Agsoy, PPT Chairperson of Barangay Fortaliza, Tuburan, Cebu.

Kalahi-CIDSS footbridge in Brgy. Fortaliza, Tuburan, Cebu.

Barangay Fortaliza is one of the 54 barangays in Tuburan. Most of these barangays are located in the mountains while Fortaliza is situated in the lowland. The barangay serves as the “catch basin” of the water from the upland area. Whenever heavy rainfall comes the 25 hectares of land will be filled with water. It takes 6 months for the water to recede.

This has been the problem of the community every time there is flood. The floodwater would damage the community’s livelihood, and not only that, it posed danger to the community most especially to the 60 elementary students and approximately 150 high school students of Colonia National High School from Barangay Caridad, Kansi, Bakyawan and Gaang. These children would cross the field using the makeshift raft also known as “gakit”. It came to a point where the school’s attendance was greatly affected because students preferred to be absent in class than to take the risk in crossing the field on a raft.

The residents were desperate to really build a safe passage for the residents, most especially for the students. When DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS came, the residents were hopeful that their dream footbridge will soon rise.

Luckily, during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF), barangay Fortaliza was prioritized. The community volunteers could not contain their emotions; the footbridge would now be a dream come true for them.

For these people who had been longing for a solution to their problem considered DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS as an answer to their prayers. “This bridge provides the students and the community folks a safe passage to access basic social services at the town proper. It would help the business establishments and commerce to prosper in our barangay most especially in the sitios directly affected by this floodwaters,” added Salome.

The 140 Households of Sitio San Miguel who are the direct beneficiaries are very happy to have the footbridge.

The footbridge in Fortaliza has not only provided a safe passage but it also opens to opportunities to the residents as well as to the barangay. When the footbridge was completed, it stirs curiosity to tourist and neighboring town.

“There are passersby who would really stop and take pictures in the footbridge, there are also some instances where it was used as location for pre-nup shoot,” shared Annalyn Cuer, barangay councilor of Fortaliza.

The footbridge is really a site that would create wonder. It proudly stands in the middle of a cornfield.

“This is a dream come true, this was worth all the sacrifices and the ridicule that we received from the non-volunteers which I just ignored. I held my head high when the footbridge was finally done,” recalled Salome. ###

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