29 March 2024
For the second time in a row, SYSTRA employees from all over the world travelled to Rwanda to build a bridge in the north of the country in just 15 days. Watch the video to discover the story of this assignment, which changed the lives of more than 4,000 people.

The project brought together 4 women and 6 men, SYSTRA employees, from Brazil, India, Canada, France, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Dubai. Their assignment? To build the Rusumo bridge in northern Rwanda. This is the second project carried out by the SYSTRA Group with the NGO Bridges to Prosperity in Rwanda, following the construction of the Shyagari bridge in 2022.

In this remote region, half an hour’s walk from the main road, the dirt tracks are particularly dangerous during the rainy season, particularly because of the Nyirakibuye river, which floods whenever there is heavy rainfall. The construction of a bridge across the river has made it possible to provide children with safe access to two schools, tea plantation farmers with safe access to the two local markets, and pregnant women with safe access to the local maternity clinic. It has also brought the districts of Rulindo and Gicumbi, which are separated by the river, closer together.

This is a new assignment of solidarity fulfilled by the teams of the SYSTRA Group, with the support of Business Lines & Production, whom I would like to thank for their commitment. The Bridges to Prosperity initiative is an emblematic example of what SYSTRA can do to make a difference to provide safe and sustainable solutions to isolated populations in order to change their daily lives. It’s a project that conveys values and meaning and that makes us proud.

Christelle Chichignoud, Group Sustainability Director, SYSTRA

A challenging assignment carried out in 15 days

The SYSTRA team brought together people from all walks of life, engineers, and support staff, of all ages and of seven different nationalities. Around twenty Rwandan workers from Bridges to Prosperity, under the direction of project manager Jean-Pierre Hategekimana, took part in all phases of the project with our colleagues: pulling the suspension cables, assembling the prefabricated deck elements, launching and fixing the metal decking, filling and concreting the support pits, and painting and installing the cladding.

Despite the difficult weather conditions, the bridge was inaugurated on schedule, within the exact dimensions envisaged in the plans, and without any major incident during construction.

History of the project in video:

The assignment in a few figures:

  • 59 metres long
  • 59 prefabricated metallic structures suspended by 4 cables
  • 118 metres of metallic lining
  • 89 fixed planks
  • Resistance of the structure to over 120 tonnes of weight
  • 30 minutes walking distance to get to the work site
  • 121,195 steps taken during the 10 days of construction
  • 10 certified maintainers among the workers on the site to ensure the bridge’s maintenance (25-year guarantee)

A project which serves:

  • 4,340 locals from 943 households
  • 37% are schoolchildren (1,606 children aged between 7 and 16)
  • 451 women with safe access to maternity treatment
  • An increase of 30% in income for tea planters once the bridge is complete, thanks to improved access to the markets in Miyove and Kisaro

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