|Médium:||papier de conférence|
|Conférence:||Footbridge 2014 - Past, Present & Future, London, 16-18 July 2014|
|Publié dans:||Footbridge 2014 - Past, Present & Future|
Seasonal riverbeds in the south of Kenya swell up to torrential rivers during the rainy season and make them impassable. The heavy rainfalls cannot infiltrate in the fine-grained soil and lead to superficial flow. The Masai communities get cut off from important facilities, denying them access to schools, markets, hospitals and fresh water for several weeks. And this is during a time where malaria infections reach their climax.
As a sustainable solution to this problem, a universal bridge system was considered and developed in a bachelor thesis at the ETH Zurich in 2011. The first part was to define boundary conditions, analyse the walking paths and locate potential sites in the selected region. One of several outputs of this study was that footbridges with a span of 10 to 20 meters are mostly needed. The biggest challenge was to find a system, which can be erected without a crane. The variation analysis led to a wooden truss construction, where preassembled elements can be erected piece by piece over the river.
This specific system has been successfully implemented in two of four completed projects. Poverty alleviation does not stop by just building new infrastructure. A main goal of these development projects is to transfer knowledge and teach the local communities new abilities. In addition the projects enable the participating students to lead a project from the first drawing until the handing over of the bridge and to gain interesting, instructive and cultural experiences.
Due to the need of more footbridges in this region and the gained knowledge from the completed projects, several bridges are being planned to improve the quality of life of the Masai communities.
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