In November 2018, Andrew O'Connell, senior engineer at Roughan & O'Donovan, was one of a team of volunteers from Europengineers companies, including Basler & Hofmann, Buro Happold, Pondio, Salfo and Setec, who built a footbridge for villagers in an isolated, rural community in Rwanda.

The project team travelled to Nyarugenge in the Kigali Province, where they built a 30-metre suspended bridge over the Yanza River, which floods 90 to 180 days of the year, cutting off local access to critical resources.

Andrew developed the daily works plan and oversaw the activities of both volunteers and local community staff on the construction site.  He also led the completion of the as-built drawings and worked closely with the project manager to oversee construction on the job site.

The new bridge serves the Gasiza and Rubonobono communities, providing safe passage across the river and year-round access to the local market, health clinic and primary school.

Andrew is a member of the executive committee of Engineers Without Borders and has a keen interest in international development work.

I was delighted to have ROD’s support on this challenging Bridges to Prosperity project. The Gatare Bridge may be a simple footbridge, but it has made a huge difference to the local population, helping to empower men, women and children out of poverty.  

To learn more about the Gatare Bridge project, read part one and part two of Andrew's story on our website.