At NLG, we believe giving is better than receiving.
That's why, when we were approached by a collaborative team from Balfour Beatty, Flint and Neill and the local Bridges to Prosperity staff on a venture to construct a 48M suspension bridge over the Mukungwa River in Tubungo, Northern Rwanda, we were pleased to donate tool tethering equipment and PPE to keep them safe on the job.
The new bridge will provide safe access to a community of over 10,000 people where last year alone, five people were killed and more than twenty injured whilst attempting to cross. It will also help increase economic opportunity with improved access from and to markets, schools and health centres. The bridge is a step towards reducing rural isolation, an on-going battle that is a worldwide issue.
Five members of the community were employed as part of the team, which increased the efficiency of the build and also helped to engage the locals in the project.
The lack of power, tools and equipment were some of the daily challenges faced when working in a rural corner of Rwanda.
The completion of the project was celebrated on ‘Inauguration Day', with speeches from the Project Managers and stories from the local residents on the new and ‘life-changing' bridge.
One story touched us in particular. It was about Prosper.
Prosper was hired as one of the local labourers that helped build the initial phase of the bridge. He told of how his whole family (his mother, father, sister and brother) had all perished when trying to cross the river when he was a child. He only survived as he was pulled from the river. Prosper movingly spoke about how much the new bridge has meant to him, for safety and as a source of income. The wages he earned from the build had enabled him to buy some livestock and help ensure his future prosperity.
This was a real and valuable reminder of the huge benefits the bridge will bring.