Northern Ireland civil engineers to transform lives in Rwanda

A team of 10 civil engineers from Northern Ireland will travel to Rwanda to build a bridge providing safe access across the Giwsi River.

Seven of the ten engineers going to Rwanda, pictured with ICE Chairman Philip Brown and Regional Director Richard Kirk.
Seven of the ten engineers going to Rwanda, pictured with ICE Chairman Philip Brown and Regional Director Richard Kirk.

This May, ICE Northern Ireland is sending a team of 10 civil engineers to Rwanda to build a 45 metre suspension bridge for 6,000 people. The project is in partnership with Bridges to Prosperity, a charity committed to ending poverty caused by rural isolation.

The people living in Uwacyeza and Muganza cannot cross the Giwsi River for 120 days during the year. When the river floods, local farmers can’t travel to the market to sell their goods, students can’t attend school, and the health clinic is inaccessible.

Over the past three years, three people have died attempting to cross the river. The community urgently needs a bridge in order to have safe, year-round access on both sides of the river.

“This bridge will be a testament to the fact that civil engineers transform lives,” said Richard Kirk, Regional Director for ICE Northern Ireland. “We are imploring our members to help our team deliver this project by donating to this very worthy cause."

You can donate at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/bridgestoprosperity. Your donation will go toward the fundraising goal of £15,000, which will cover flights, accommodation, food and vaccinations for the team of civil engineers:

  • Philip Crossett
  • Katherine Devlin
  • Ciara Doherty
  • Gary Donnelly
  • Claire Hughes
  • Rab Laverty
  • Matthew Lowe
  • Eugene McFeely
  • Martin McGuinness
  • Lynsey McNeilly

The team will fly to Rwanda this May and spend two weeks constructing the bridge from start to finish. This is a joint venture project, and the following organisations have already committed a total of £50,000 toward the cost of the bridge:

  • Arup
  • Belfast Met
  • Farrans
  • GRAHAM
  • H&J Martin Construction
  • McAdam Design
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • RPS
  • Translink
  • WDR & RT Taggart

The trip is part of ICE 200, a celebration throughout 2018 of ICE’s 200th anniversary. To find out more about civil engineering, visit www.ice.org.uk/wice.

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