Bridges in Nepal

EcoSystems has designed an innovative, safe bridge suitable for Nepal, where it has already placed several. They need partners to help fund more of them.

Safe There have been more than 1,600,000 safe trips in six years over Nepal’s rivers with EcoSystems’ thirty locally developed WireBridges (“TarPul”) with no reported injuries. These rugged, easy-to-use bridge-carriages provide reliable transport for a moderate flow of people at minimal cost overcoming barriers to education, health, and income. placed several.

Appropriate TarPul are physical, social, and symbolic. EcoSystems’ bridge builders mix appropriate technology, smart design, local fabrication, and community labor with patient, consensus-forming discussion. A community organizes a supportive User Group, ensuring a peaceful environment and good labor relations, and pays what it can for a bridge. Donors like you provide the rest of the funding. EcoSystems guarantees a high quality product at a fixed price, fast completion, typically 2 to 3 months, and long term service. All through the years of regional conflict, these bridges have always been protected by the people, never harmed.

Active Some TarPul have replaced dangerous ‘tweens.’ Others provide new crossings saving hours, up to a full day, in people’s journeys. Active TarPul may be seen and experienced at Besisahar on the Marsyangdi River, or at Thumka or Theuwater on the Trisuli. Closer to Kathmandu, a full-scale model is available at the Nakhu Khola just south of Patan.

Smart The small carriage seats two adults but often carries four to six persons or their goods weighing up to 250 KG. The carriage hangs from wheels which roll on wires stretched across the river. Two wires suffice to 80 meters. From 80 up to 172 meters four wires are used. A tow rope loops between the posts that stand on both sides, allowing the carriage to be pulled by both the passengers and anyone standing on either side. This makes the trip go even faster.

Affordable Some WireBridges have been built several days from road heads. Remoteness is not an issue. All components are portable. The heaviest are the posts or wires weighing about 115 KG. The main factors affecting the cost of construction are the distance from Kathmandu (days of travel), topography (the civil work), and length (shorter or longer than 80 meters). Sites on the current waiting list of communities are quoted to cost from eight to thirteen lakh Rupees, or $11,000 to $18,000 (VAT included). Maintenance involves periodic replacement of ropes and trolleys.

Available A community usually takes the first step by paying EcoSystems for an evaluation of their site. Discussions with the community and a field survey follow. EcoSystems prepares a proposal including a completed price. EcoSystems then helps the communities to find sponsors, if needed. Nepal School Projects, KAAA (Kadoorie), the German Embassy, Parvati Fund, CARE, Li-Bird, Rotary, the Flora Family Foundation, Dhulikhel Hospital’s supporters, and individual donors have helped. Once funded, the construction work is done by members of the community with EcoSystems supervision. Once the concrete hardens, the bridge can be assembled, tested, and working in two to three days.

On Call EcoSystems welcomes community and donor partners. So far no community has been too far, no site too difficult. To view pictures, click