Thanks to many loyal donors the funding of bridge # 35 at Jagare Phant is complete. The VillageSolutions team in Nepal will begin work on this site probably in January. The continued political unrest often results in the roads being closed, so the exact starting date can't be predicted. Photos will be posted when work begins.
Funding has begun for bridge #36, the first of four now in the queue requested by villagers.
The 35th WireBridge in Nepal will serve many schoolchildren who now either miss school during the monsoon season, or risk serious injury or death when crossing on this bundle of bamboo poles. As is often the case, news of another WireBridge came to this village, from which representatives soon traveled to see for themselves what had been constructed.
The bridge will cost about 16 thousand dollars, of which about 12 thousand dollars has already been contributed. The best construction time runs from November to May. The goal is to finish before the monsoon returns in June. Details of the bridge are given in the attached Jagare Phant Contract.
In January EcoSystems' team and local villagers completed the 34th WireBridge, this one extending 165 meters across the Ankhu River (aka Netrawati River) at a place known as "Sukaura". GlobalGiving donors contributed some 55,000 Rupees (about $700) of the $19,000 expense. This bridge will provide a safe crossing for many children from the river's left bank to several schools on the right bank. During the monsoon the bridge will also be used by right bank residents to reach a public road on the left side.
The team remarked that the level of cooperation at this site was higher than they had experienced at any other location. An example was the uncomplaining effort of many volunteers who repeatedly waded the icy river to move the heavy steel parts and wire.
Stringing the bridge required only three days. On the fourth every able-bodied person from the area arrived for the inauguration, for speeches, and for that first white-knuckle ride over the river.
A glimpse of the Sukaura bridge construction is posted on YouTube. Please join us at:
David Drennan, a Dartmouth engineering volunteer, has designed improvements to the trolleys which should significantly lengthen their service life.
Meanwhile, resources originally slated for a short bridge in Udayapur (apparently may get a suspended bridge instead) will be redirected to fund the Sukaura bridge, mentioned in our last update. This 165 meter bridge will cut the time for many young people to get to school, in much greater safety. At about $ 19,000 the Sukaura bridge is more expensive than the Udayapur bridge, so another $4,000 must now be raised. Construction starts this week, on the assumption that 'financial bridge-builders' will be found.
From January 2009, the next bridges will be constructed by a new company that is being formed by EcoSystems' current employees. They will be given a license to build WireBridges and to make improvements to the technology, provided a) these changes are approved by VillageTech, and b) VillageTech may share these technology improvements with other licensees.
Access to potential bridge sites has been difficult during the years of civil conflict. In the past few months there have been fortunately new opportunities to reach needy communities and conduct surveys. Two photos from the Sukaura site are in the Gallery. At this site, some 300 students may use the proposed bridge. We learned that six students have died trying to get to or from school for lack of a safe crossing. Six other sites are being surveyed at the moment.
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Thanks to 59 donors like you, a total of $4,506 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving.
Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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