Lebak, Indonesia

Think the school run is bad? Children face Indiana Jones-style river crossing every day after floods cut off their community.

At first glance, it looks like an action sequence from Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom.

But, in reality, it is the daily commute to and from work and school for adults and children in Lebak, Indonesia.

Students, some as young as five, hold on to the side steel bars of a collapsed bridge as they cross a river to get to school at Sanghiang Tanjung village in Lebak, Indonesia.

Student Sofiah says she would rather risk the bridge than walk an hour and a half to the next river crossing. The river crossing become precarious and potentially fatal last week after the suspension bridge was almost washed away by flooding.

A pillar supporting one side of the crossing collapsed, leaving the wooden planks that acted as a path tilted to one side.

Only one side of the suspension bridge remained intact, meaning commuters have had to carefully pick their way over the bouncing structure.

Locals have reported that sections of the simple wood-and-wire bridge have been disappearing overnight, suggesting that the bridge is far from stable.

Children who live on the other side of the bank must use the damaged bridge to get to school.

Sofiah, a student who traverses the bridge each day, explained that the nearest other crossing was half an hour’s walk away.

Seeing as that would mean getting up earlier each morning, and coming home later each night, she said she would rather risk the crossing on the collapsed ropes.

The river is a popular tourist attraction, with its fast waters used by thousands of holidaymakers who wish to go white-water rafting.

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1 Comentario to “Lebak, Indonesia”

  1. Frank McManus escribe:

    Dear Ms Margarita Renedo
    This is very interesting article which should motivate students here in Spain to do more than they are actually doing; although in your school I’m sure your students need very little motivation when they have a teacher like you. The difference between the developing nations and the developed nations is the necessity to achieve. As the saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention”. Sadly for a lot of students in Europe, the necessity to achieve is no longer thought of as being crucial to their future. Even though Europe and especially Spain is suffering from a credit crunch, and a lot of family families seem to be suffering from economic hardship it is nothing like the hardship and poverty that the Third World has to put up with. Most students in the Western World don’t even walk to school. If you compare the relative standard of living now where most families have all sorts of expensive electronic games and equipment which they claim to be a necessity rather than a luxury and almost everybody has a car, to what life was like thirty or forty years ago when I was a boy things have changed completely. In my day money didn’t fall from the sky, and apart from walking to school even in primary in all sorts of weather, when I was a teenager I had to get a part-time job to help out. I certainly didn’t have the “necessities” that children now have, but I still have fond memories of my childhood.
    Frank McManus
    Alcala de Henares, 5th September 2012

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