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The Gallery | New bridge transforms Rwanda community

A new bridge has been built over the dangerous Mukungwa River in Rwanda by a team from Flint & Neill and Balfour Beatty.

The team spent two weeks in Tubungo, Rwanda, where it partnered with non-profit organisation Bridges to Prosperity to build the 48m long pedestrian suspension bridge.

The bridge replaces an unreliable and unsafe crossing point. The new crossing will boost the local economy’s potential by providing greater access to markets, schools and health centres. It will also help reduce inequality by providing communities on both sides of the river with a safer transportation alternative to a seasonally impassable route.

Flint & Neill director and Bridges to Prosperity trustee Ian Firth said: “To think that something as straightforward as a piece of pedestrian infrastructure can positively impact the livelihoods of thousands of residents in a small, developing community is remarkable.

“Bridges to Prosperity is such an amazing programme that our staff have been incredibly fortunate to be a part of and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the organisation for years to come.”

Balfour Beatty managing director Stephen Tarr said: “I am delighted that Balfour Beatty has been a part of this project, building on last year’s efforts. We are committed to improving lives through our innovative and expert engineering skills and I know that those involved will return to work having had an experience they will never forget, having significantly improved the lives of those living in Tubungo.”

More than 200 community members from both the east and west sides of the crossing were at the bridge’s inauguration ceremony.

Donations to Bridges to Prosperity can be made by visiting www.bridgestoprosperity.org.

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