VillageTech Solutions funds a popular, all-weather "gondola" bridge in Nepal. The bridge moves 40 to 80 adults, or 80 to 160 children per hour, safely each way across rivers up to 160 meters wide.
12 million Nepalese live in the Himalayan foothills where rivers are hazardous obstacles. Limited access denies many children an education, discourages proper health care, and increases the cost of goods. To cross more than 10 meters, there have been only two alternatives: an extremely dangerous cable 'tween' wherein a makeshift trapeze or wooden box hangs from a pulley that often crushes the user's fingers, or an expensive suspended walking bridge.
Since 1998 34 gondola-like WireBridges have been built over dangerous rivers in Nepal at a quarter the cost of suspended bridges. Only two to four months are needed to complete each bridge.
In more than 1,000 Nepalese communities, schoolchildren and others want "to reach the other side" safely. Village children and adults have used the 34 WireBridges more than 3.2 million times with no accidents. Requests for bridges are overwhelming.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
VillageTech Solutions home site
Menlo Park TechAward report
Building the Sukaura WireBridge
TechAward 2003 video