Day 1 and 2 – Journey and arrival

Jian Fong

Sunday evening and we are all finally here at Gashyushya, a two hour drive out of Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. We’ve just had a lovely dinner prepared by the full B2P team where we went through the construction sequence with the core team and get ready for a 7am start tomorrow.

The journey for me began first thing on Saturday morning with a short flight across to Amsterdam airport where I met the rest of the European contingent. I joined up with Roser from Copenhagen, Anthony from Helsinki and Gustav from Gothenburg. The final member of the Rambol group, Sulabh from Gurugram office in India, would meet up with us in Kigali. More on the team here

We finally met up in Kigali in the early evening, and were also joined by Mariale, the programme manager at B2P. Over dinner Mariale ran through some of the details of the upcoming project.

On Sunday morning we were scheduled for an early start on the final leg of our journey to Gashyushya, but we were delayed for some time. Not because of traffic as you might expect, but because Sunday was a designated traffic free day in Kigali, one of two each month. The delay did give us the chance to explore the city and get some last-minute shopping done.

I was impressed by how clean the city is, and I found out afterwards it is the apparently the cleanest in Africa. Not only are cars periodically excluded from the streets but there is a complete ban on plastic packaging. We have much to learn.

We finally resumed the last leg of our journey down to Gashyushya. After being greeted by many of the villagers we immediately headed out to the site to inspect progress so far. The foundations have been set and we performed some initial checking to make sure the abutment was leveled and set out correctly.

The existing bridge on arrival
The existing bridge on arrival

Our accommodation is comfortable but basic. Currently 60 percent of Rwanda is connected to the electricity grid and Government is committed to connecting the whole country by 2024. Unfortunately this has not reached our accommodation yet, and we have no electricity or running water. I can’t see this being a problem as I anticipate crashing out each evening exhausted, but it may make keeping these blogs up to date more of a challenge.

Comfortable but basic accommodation
Comfortable but basic accommodation

I’ll be keeping you posted of our progress as often as connectivity will allow, and hopefully I’ll be able to get some good photos posted too.

More about the project here.



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