It is estimated by the UN that 70% of the world’s extreme poverty is in rural areas.
Bridges are life-improving catalysts for reducing rural isolation that keeps people from, or makes it extremely perilous to reach health care, education, jobs or other economic opportunities. Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) have built 170 bridges in 18 countries around the world since 2001. Some of these have therefore been in service for 14 years and have shown significant benefit to the local communities. Furthermore B2P have training programmes in place for the country’s engineering students such that they are now partnering with local engineers to build the next generation of bridges.
BuroHappold Engineering have partnered with Bridges to Prosperity and Price & Myers to construct a pedestrian bridge in Gasiza in the Northern Provence of Rwanda. The bridge will span the river Cyacika and will be 57m long. It will provide a needed and safe link between two rural communities. BuroHappold and Price & Myers have formed a team of 10 engineers who will be traveling to Rwanda for 2 weeks in November 2016 to help construct the bridge. We will be working and living with the local community and hope to not only grow good and lasting relationships but also teach them about quality, safety and maintenance. Funding from the Happold Foundation will be used to buys tools with which to build the bridge and future bridges.
We are excited about having a direct impact on individuals lives but also leaving behind some of our knowledge that will help with the construction and continued maintenance of many more structures in the future.
The location of the bridges to prosperity project
Some facts and figures associated with previous projects: School attendance increased by 12%. Visits to health care facilities increased by 18%. Pedestrian, livestock traffic increased by 100-500%. Number of retail businesses increased by 15%. Employed women in community increased by 24%