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Chinese engineer helps improve lives in West Africa

By CANG WEI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-06-20 22:13

Yin Guohua, an engineer with China Jiangsu International, has been working in African countries for 15 years to help build infrastructure and improve local people's lives.

He said that he has overcome many difficulties to do his job well in Africa, including language barriers, health problems and safety concerns.

In some French-speaking West African countries, Yin and his colleagues, who could only speak English as a second language, hired engineers from Mauritius to be their translators and partners.

Due to relationships formed in previous projects with the Mauritius engineers, who could speak both English and French, the projects in West Africa also went well.

Sometimes Yin had to overcome his fear of rebels and tropical diseases to continue his work.

In 2014, the company was building the first four-star hotel in Guinea when Ebola broke out in West Africa. While people from some countries left for safety concerns, Yin and his team decided to stay to finish their project.

"A hospital was located across the road from our construction site," he said. "We saw patients falling down in front of its gate and medical workers disinfecting the site and their bodies."

Due to strict management, no one got the disease in Yin's team and they managed to finish their work on time.

Yin also donated money to local workers, generators to villages and helped build schools.

"I always tell my colleagues that are new to Africa that they must respect local cultures and local people," said Yin. "We want to share our skills and techniques with local workers to help them better their lives."

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