The team is working with charity Bridges to Prosperity to provide a safe year-round crossing over the River Nyagako. The bridge will serve 10,000 people in the Nyamirama and Kanyinya communities, whose access to schools, markets, farms and health services is cut off when the river rises to and over its banks. In the last three years, four people have died and two have been injured attempting to cross the Nyagako River.
Ten volunteers – five from Balfour Beatty and five from Mott MacDonald – will travel to Rutaka to build the footbridge with the local community between 17th June and 2nd July. As well as providing a safe river crossing, the project will include an educational programme to share the knowledge and skills of safe, efficient and appropriate footbridge construction with the local population.
Since 2002, Bridges to Prosperity has worked with isolated communities around the world to create access to essential healthcare, education and economic opportunities by building footbridges over impassable rivers. Within the communities where Bridges to Prosperity has previously worked, there has been on average a 12% increase in children’s school enrolment, a 24% increase in healthcare treatment, a 15% increase in local business and 18% increase in women’s employment.
Balfour Beatty’s support for Bridges to Prosperity dates back to 2015, when the company built a 51m suspension bridge across the Mwange River in Rwanda. In 2016, following the success of the previous year, Balfour Beatty travelled to Tubungo, Rwanda, to build a 48m suspension bridge.
Balfour Beatty and Mott MacDonald will sponsor the construction of the Rutaka footbridge through Bridges to Prosperity’s Industry Partnership Programme. The volunteers are leading fundraising efforts to support the project, as well as preparing to apply their engineering skills and knowledge on the ground.
The project team will be posting updates on project website at: rutakabridge.wordpress.com.
Find out more about Bridges to Prosperity at: www.bridgestoprosperity.org.