Bridges to Prosperity (B2P), a nonprofit organization committed to rural development, is collaborating with the Swiss development organization Helvetas and the Ethiopian government to build 150 Footbridges & 230 Miles of Feeder Pathways in Ethiopia.
According to the organizations, almost 80% of Ethiopia’s population live in rural regions where they must navigate the rough terrain on foot, bicycle, or motorcycle, and excursions frequently include crossing gorges or rivers. According to B2P, thousands of bridges and millions of miles of trail renovations are required throughout Ethiopia to connect rural areas to key services.
Nivi Sharma, the CEO of B2P, said that a collaborative strategy including local stakeholders and national leaders is required to accomplish the level of transformation that the communities require. Furthermore, Sharma said that tackling the problem of rural isolation in Ethiopia would create a case study of effective, long-term partnership and promote the inclusion of rural transportation access initiatives in global development efforts.
Upon completion, the project the construction of which is funded by Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust with a US$ 10M three-year grant, will be utilized by over 1 million people.
B2P eligibility for the construction of 150 Footbridges & 230 Miles of Feeder Pathways in Ethiopia
B2P has reportedly constructed pedestrian bridges throughout Latin America and Africa to increase access to key services.
According to Alissa Davis, B2P’s director of business development, the Helmsley Trust has a history of funding work assisting vulnerable children in Sub-Saharan Africa, so it contacted B2P about the impact trail bridges could have alongside their other work building community resilience and holistic wellbeing for children in Ethiopia.
In a statement, Walter Panzirer, a trustee of the Helmsley Trust, said that infrastructure-based projects like these have the potential to address so many of the challenges faced by rural families, ultimately leading to higher participation in the regional labor market and an overall increase in school attendance and use of health services.