Building Bridges in the Masai Mara, Kenya
The power of a fast-flowing rivers in the Masai Mara is not something to take lightly. Every year there are challenges that come with the rains and the fast-flowing river and last year in particular it was a community bridge that connected the two sides of the river that had become dangerous to cross, so the Great Plains team came to help.
The bridge located at the Northside far edge of the Olare Motorogi Conservancy over the Olare Orok River is essential to the Olare Orok Masai Community to use to travel between the two sides of the river for a variety of reasons. School children use the bridge as their only way to attend school, families would cross to go to the food markets and to health centres and clinics and rangers use the bridge to patrol the area for vigilance or animal threats. This bridge was greatly damaged by floods but still stands so the children, families and rangers continued to use this bridge but were at high danger risk of falling into the river or injuring themselves. Community members will often not take the risk and therefore lose out on school or medical support.
This week the Kenya team completed the rebuild of the community bridge to safely transport everyone across! Here, school children prepare to cross the river safely to attend school.
The Great Plains team supported not only the materials for the bridge but also the site surveys, food and water for the labourers, operational support and more in partnership with HarmonParker, Bobby Reese Engineer, Chris and Beth and Leibfried Engineers & Builders.
Johnson Marimpa Kisaika, the Olare Village Pastor was excited to narrate the need for this bridge and commented that the bridge has made inter-village movements easier and safer for everyone.
Bridge Opening Tree-Planting Ceremony
It wouldn’t be a Kenya celebration without a special indigenous tree planting ceremony to mark the day. The team, led by Paul Kamau, planted trees with the engineers, the kids and members of the Great Plains Kenya team.
Stella, our Mara Plains camp manager, also joined in the tree planting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the bridge as well as other members of our Great Plains team including Jefferson.