UK volunteer team sets off for Bridges to Prosperity project in Rwanda
A team from WilkinsonEyre and Cowi has set off from the UK to build a footbridge that will enable safe year-round access across the Sebeya River in Rwanda.
The 43m-long community footbridge in Kazabe is the latest project for non-profit organisation Bridges to Prosperity (B2P). The Kazabe Suspension Bridge will be used by tea plantation workers, villagers and schoolchildren who currently have to wade through the river in order to get to their school.
The Sebeya River is impassable for an average of 45 days a year due to flooding, isolating the local community. The new bridge will connect directly to both a school and a church and will provide reliable access to critical services, transforming the day-to-day lives of the community.
Simon Roberts, head of the bridge team at WilkinsonEyre said: “Bridges are vital to communities all over the world, giving local people access to vital amenities such as schools, hospitals and places of work. We are thrilled to be working on this project for B2P.”
Oliver Stross, principal engineer at Cowi UK, said: “We have teamed up with WilkinsonEyre to build our fifth bridge in Rwanda with Bridges to Prosperity. The Kazabe footbridge will be a great help for the local community and create safe all year-round access to facilities, schools and markets.”
Holly Bartelt, programme manager at Bridges to Prosperity, said: “We've had a full-time programme in Rwanda since 2012, with over 39 bridges built to date serving 224,025 people, all of which have been achieved through close cooperation with the government, industry partners, and local organisations.”
WilkinsonEyre and Cowi UK are supporting the B2P initiative by covering the cost of construction materials. The team needs to raise approximately US$11,750 to cover all other associated costs. Both partners will be conducting crowdfunding campaigns. Donations can be made at: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/kazabe