Technical details
Bridges to Prosperity

November 2023


During the rainy season, the Nyirakibuye river in northern Rwanda regularly floods. It poses a constant risk to the inhabitants of the Rulindo district, first and foremost schoolchildren from Sayo Primary and Gakenke Secondary schools, tea plantation workers, and families travelling to the Sayo medical centre. 

To ensure safe passage for local residents, SYSTRA teams worked with the NGO Bridges to Prosperity over a two-week period to build the Rusumo suspension bridge, a nearly 60-metre structure linking the two banks of the Nyirakibuye river. Robust and durable, this steel bridge is guaranteed for 25 years, and is maintained by the Rwandan workers who built it. 

Built with locals, this structure is already having a positive impact on the local communities. By bringing the Rulindo district closer to the Gicumbi district, it provides over 4,000 people with safe access to the main services and shops in the area.

The economic benefits are measurable, with an average increase in income of 30% for tea plantation workers.

This is the second solidarity bridge to be built by SYSTRA in Rwanda, after the Shyagari bridge, due to be erected in 2022. 

The Rusumo bridge is a symbolic milestone for our stakeholders, as it is the 500th bridge built by Bridges to Prosperity worldwide, and the 200th solidarity bridge built in Rwanda. 

Rusumo Bridge in photos:

Inauguration of the bridge and maintenance certification
Decking junction
Decking in progress
The bridge as inaugurated on November 17th
This bridge is unifying two Northern districts, Rulindo and Gicumbi
First crossings of the bridge in November 17th, 2023