Raised: 127%

Target: £2,036.00
Raised so far: £2,584.00

Fully funded

Great news - this project has reached its funding target. Thank you to everyone who donated. Search for another cause to support

Project run by

VillageTech Solutions (VTS), Menlo Park, United Stateshttp://www.villagetechsolutions.org

Projects provided by global giving

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Build Bridges for Health, Education & Hope - Nepal

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.

What is the problem the project is addressing?

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.

How will this project solve the problem?

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.

What is the potential long-term impact of this project?

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.

Dec 11 2009

Funding for #35, starting #36

David Sowerwine

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.

Oct 16 2009

Jagare Phant's schoolchildren need you!

David Sowerwine

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.

May 25 2009

Achane school bridge completed

David Sowerwine

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:


Dec 09 2008

WireBridge project takes next step

David Sowerwine

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.

Feb 11 2008

Renewed support for bridges

David Sowerwine

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.

Aug 16 2007

Politics and bridges

David Sowerwine

Routine maintenance continues for the bridges that are accessible. Political turmoil still makes it difficult to reach many sites. EcoSystems is not the only group to be affected--the entire city of Kathmandu is short of fuel while the road links with India are blocked. Discussions are under way for site surveys in several parts of the country. A new 'hanger' design will be tested in one of the long bridges shortly, as part of the ongoing program to further improve the service life of the bearings.

Apr 02 2007

More Bridges to Come

David Sowerwine

Currently three bridges are under construction at Bagapati, Ghadi, and Jaldevighat. All three bridges are assembled and are awaiting final arrangements by local authorities. The site at Ghadi is a replacement for a former bridge which was washed out in 2005 by one of Nepal's enourmous global-warming flood which are scouring its valleys. At the moment people are fording the river like these women carrying cut grass in this photograph taken at Ghadi.

Read the three-page article about us in the Feb 28, 2007, Almanac newspaper.

Aug 03 2006

More bridge-building volunteers

David Sowerwine

EcoSystems has benefitted from the skills and attention of many volunteers. In July a team visited the Gadhi bridge site, which had been devastated by an enormous flood in 2004. To reach the site, the team had to ford the river where access bridges had been destroyed. Here is part of the team, assisted by local people, making their way to the site.

Aug 03 2006

Gadhi Bridge nearly completed

David Sowerwine

After many delays due to political unrest, the foundations for the Gadhi bridge have been completed. As soon as the promised co-payment from the local authorities is received the bridge will be erected. The thank-you note to all donors, including several from GlobalGiving is attached.

Jan 06 2006

Funding almost complete for new bridge!

Donors contributions via GlobalGiving brings the funding close to completion for a bridge over the Samari River in Nepal's Makwanpur district. It's eagerly awaited by the villagers, because there is a grade school on one side of the river, and a high school on the other. At some point in their lives, all the local students must face the problem of crossing this river to and from school.

Read the thank you letter from this project attached below.

Nov 11 2005

Thank you to our Donors!


Oct 28 2005

What goes into Building an EcoSystems Bridge?