UNIFIL-funded bridge links Shab’a village to the region

UNIFIL peacekeepers oversee the early stage of the construction of the bridge at Shab’a.

Local contractors work on the bridge in Shab’a funded by UNIFIL’s Spanish contingent.

Standing on the completed bridge, a UNIFIL Spanish peacekeeper discusses the construction with Bassem Hashem, Deputy Mayor of Shab’a.

An engineer involved in the construction of the Shab’a bridge walks over the bridge funded by UNIFIL’s Spanish contingent.

Shab’a’s Deputy Mayor and an engineer walk over the completed bridge.

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3 May 2017

UNIFIL-funded bridge links Shab’a village to the region

Bassem Hashem, Deputy Mayor of Shab’a, strolls along the recently graded dirt road and pauses at the new bridge. He examines the construction work and chats with the structural engineer. Construction of this new bridge crossing a stream in the valley has just been completed. The construction was funded by a donation from UNIFIL’s Spanish contingent.

Mr. Hashem elaborates on why this 18-metre bridge is so important: “It is vital because it connects the whole area, and it beautifies the banks of the river.”

This concrete bridge, replaces the old iron bridge and can now support traffic up to 50 tons and is part of a larger infrastructure project to build a new road on the eastern side of the village. This bypass road will link the village with the nearby towns of El Hebbariya and Kfar Shouba and, once completed, will reduce the amount of traffic passing through Shab’a.

“We save residents four or five kilometres in their journey,” explains Mr. Hashem, speaking about the benefits of the bridge. “Now you can cross with a distance of only 500 or 600 metres.” The low lying road and bridge will also allow Shab’a to be accessible during the winter snow.

UNIFIL’s Spanish contingent donated US$ 40,000 to the municipality for the construction of one of three bridges needed for the bypass road.

In his remarks at the inauguration ceremony on 22 April, Mayor Mohamad Ahmad Saad expressed his gratitude to UNIFIL’s Spanish contingent for the funding of this project “that will contribute to the development of the village.”

Captain Raquel Taisma, from UNIFIL’s Spanish Contingent, explains how this project is linked to UNIFIL’s core mandate in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

“This project supports the local population and the local authorities and contributes to the development of the country,” said Capt. Taisma. “This bridge will connect Shab’a to other communities and improve the economy of this area.”


Article: Aoibheann O’Sullivan
Video camera: Aoibheann O’Sullivan, Mohamad Hamze
Video Editor: Aoibheann O’Sullivan, Suzane Baderddine
Stills: Pascual Gorriz