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Swiss collects money at home and builds bridges in Kyrgyzstan

A Swiss collects money at home and builds bridges in Kyrgyzstan. This was reported by the public association CAMP Ala-Too.

According to it, Swiss citizen Bernard Repond in the early 2000s came to Kyrgyzstan as a tourist. During one of the walks in the mountainous terrain, he saw that the local shepherds graze cattle only on one plot. When asked why not to use all the pasture, he heard that there is no bridge along which cattle can be transferred to the other side.

Reportedly, Bernard Repond and the director of the Central Asia Mountain Partnership program in Kyrgyzstan Ernest Gabatuller having discussed the problem of mountain bridges, outlined a plan of action. Returning home, the Swiss founded the association Pamir’s bridges, began to seek money for the reconstruction and construction of mountain bridges in Kyrgyzstan.

For 10 years, the focus of the project was the Issyk-Kul oblast. At the first stage, when building and reconstructing bridges, wood was used. But, as experience has shown, wooden constructions under the pressure of a powerful mountain stream can last no more than 15 years. After the geography of the project expanded in 2012, bridges began to be built from concrete and iron.

Mountain bridges in remote areas are restored and built together with the local community. The association finances the purchase and delivery of building materials and provides expert services. Forestry enterprises, rural administration and pasture committees are investing labor and technical resources, the report said.

The longest — 27-meter — bridge over the Ala-Buka River was built in Aktalinsky district of Naryn oblast. On average, the roadway of one bridge does not exceed 8-9 m, and the height is calculated taking into account the maximum water rise during flood or mudflow.

This year, within the framework of the project, six bridges will be reconstructed and built — in Talas, Naryn, Jalal-Abad oblasts.

Since 2002, 70 bridges have been reconstructed and built in Kyrgyzstan. Bernard Repond comes to Kyrgyzstan to personally check the quality of construction or repair of each of them.