The volunteers were part funded by an ICE Quest grant, awarded in April 2017, with additional support from Mott MacDonald, Balfour Beatty and other sponsors.
A team of 10 volunteers from Mott MacDonald and Balfour Beatty have spent the summer building a vital footbridge across a river in Rwanda, with the help of an ICE Quest grant.
The team helped non-government organisation (NGO) Bridges to Prosperity build the Rutaka Footbridge in Rwanda’s rural Muhanga District.
The river level is dangerously high during the wet season, cutting local people off from essential services. In the last four years, three people have died trying to cross.
The UK volunteers worked with local engineers and community members to build a safe crossing point. After two weeks of construction activity, the team completed a 40m suspended footbridge which will serve approximately 10,000 people.
“This was an amazing and incredibly rewarding experience, living and working with and among the community,” said Ian Towler, the bridge’s project manager. “Mott MacDonald and Balfour Beatty volunteers delivered a footbridge that will clearly make a huge difference… The community’s happiness with their new bridge was evident and we could see that it meant so much to them.”
The Quest Travel Award is open to UK-based ICE members and provides funding for a professional development activity involving overseas travel. ICE graduate or professionally qualified members can apply for up to £1,500, or a group of ICE members can apply for up to £6,000. The next round of funding for travel between June 2018 and December 2018 opens on 15 January.
The ICE is also organising a free conference, Engineers for International Development, on 17 October.
Delegates can learn more about civil engineering in the developing world, the work opportunities and projects available with NGOs, and hear first-hand experiences from the field.
- Read more about the conference here