Truck Falls Through Bridge, Medical Supplies Lost

1 Comment » Written on March 19th, 2009     
Filed under: News
KARAWA, CONGO (March 19, 2009) – A truck carrying medicine and other medical supplies to the hospital in Loko fell through a bridge and into a stream on Saturday, killing one woman and ruining much of the inventory, says Byron Miller, director of the Paul Carlson Partnership.

BridgeThe accident happened roughly 12 miles east of Karawa, where the truck had picked up the supplies, says Miller, who has discussed the situation with Dr. Mossai Sanguma, president of the Covenant Church of Congo (CEUM).

The bridge is made of logs with wooden decking. Miller says most of the decking was gone or in need of repair because of maintenance costs. The truck went into the stream below when the logs shifted.

The driver apparently had asked passengers to get out of the truck before crossing the bridge – a common practice due to the unstable nature of many bridges in Congo. The victim had decided to stay with the vehicle.

Miller says the truck rolled over into the stream with the wheels pointing up. Covenanters have been able to right the truck, but are looking for a vehicle big enough to pull it from the river.

SuppliesThis is the dry season, so the water is only to the top of the tires. Miller says the truck sustained little damage.

Roughly two-thirds of the supplies are recoverable, but another third was lost, Miller says. The supplies came from the Paul Carlson Partnership and HOPE International of Canada.

The Covenant Church of Congo (CEUM) operates the hospital, along with other ministries in partnership with the Evangelical Covenant Church and its Department of World Mission. “The supplies are desperately needed,” Miller says.

The collapse will affect more than the hospital. The bridge is crucial to getting goods to Businga, where they can then be shipped by river to markets, Miller says.

PCP would like to construct another bridge, but that would cost roughly $30,000 to build a structure with steel girders, Miller says. Earlier this year, Miller announced that PCP was going to intensify its focus on developing infrastructure in one of the world’s poorest countries.

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One Response to “Truck Falls Through Bridge, Medical Supplies Lost”

We had a truck turn over going over a small bridge near Wasolo mission several years ago.
No big truck was available to get get our big truck turned back over. Small trees were cut and beaten and used as ropes and the truck was pulled part way up and barrels from the truck put
under it and it was put back on the log bridge. Thank you Dr. Arden Almquist for your wisdom.

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