Bridging the gap in Rwanda

Here's a lovely film of some young engineers working with the local community in Rwanda to build a bridge (26.26mins).

Last summer, a team of eight Arup volunteers flew to Rwanda to help design and build a pedestrian suspension bridge over the Muregya River connecting the Karongi and Rutsiro districts. 1500 people a day will use the bridge.

The bridge was designed using ‘BridgeTOOL’ – a new design tool conceived through a partnership between Arup and the NGO, Bridges to Prosperity, an organisation that aims to overcome rural isolation by building footbridges over impassable rivers so communities can access health centres, schools, towns and employment. 

The software can run on any laptop and bases designs on locally available or off-the-shelf materials. BridgeTOOL aims to be a learning resource to teach and train engineers in rurally isolated communities worldwide.

Phil Borowiec, one of the two young civil engineers at Arup who led the project said: “It is a great example of how low cost technology can truly help shape a better world and improve the quality of life for isolated communities. As engineers we do believe in the greater good for all and this project is an incredible way to help meet societal need and instigate change”.

More from Arup

Working alongside Bridges to Prosperity and the local community, the team of six young engineers from Arup donated their time from annual holiday allowance to run this project, this video shows how the bridge was constructed and how the local community was involved.  

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