Engineering firms Tony Gee and Partners LLP and Knights Brown Construction Ltd worked with the global charity Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) to build a 90m footbridge in Uganda.
At the end of August, the team of 10 volunteers which included five from each organisation, travelled to Namakhokolo village to construct a footbridge across the River Passa, which has claimed 12 lives over the course of three years.
The new bridge will provide safe, year-round access for 4,000 people from the local Namakhokolo and Lubolo communities. It enables access to essential services such as schools, medical facilities and local trade opportunities, which in turn will boost their local economy.
Prior to the trip, the team from Tony Gee and Knights Brown worked tirelessly to raise £15,000. Their fundraising activities included the Yorkshire Three Peaks, a 24-mile ascent and descent completed within 12 hours. Furthermore, with Uganda being Bridges to Prosperity’s newest partner country, the team sourced multiple tools and safety equipment to help with construction and that will continue to help Bridges to Prosperity in the future.
Whilst on site, the team worked alongside the Bridges to Prosperity team as well as casual labourers from the local communities to complete the construction. This provides local foremen and labourers with training and teaches them valuable skills which they can use in the future to support more infrastructure projects within their region.
Speaking about her experience in Uganda, one of Tony Gee’s B2P volunteers, Zoe Barnett said:
“It was an amazing experience, particularly being able to work alongside the local community who will personally benefit so much from the bridge. Every day on site, there would be people from the local villages coming to watch us work and see the progress of the bridge. They were all so grateful and it was evident the impact it would have on their lives.
It was an incredibly rewarding experience, both for myself and most importantly, the communities that this bridge will benefit from. It was great to be able to see first-hand what a positive impact our work as Civil Engineers can do.”