From our first trail bridge spanning the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, Bridges to Prosperity has constructed pedestrian infrastructure in some of the world’s most remote settings above dangerous rivers that isolate surrounding residents and communities from the education, healthcare, markets, and jobs that they need to survive and prosper. Early on, we established a series of safety protocols that are world-class, easy to understand, and applicable in a variety of geographical and cultural contexts. Twenty-two countries and over one million people connected later, Bridges to Prosperity has embedded a culture of safety into every aspect of the operation, allowing us to build with precautionary measures in the midst of extreme challenges, including flooding and health crises like Ebola and, now, COVID-19.
Just as it has been for so many of our peers, the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis have, and continue to be, far-reaching for Bridges to Prosperity (B2P). From the very first reports of the virus’ spread, which we received early-on thanks to established partnerships with global health agencies, such as International SOS, we began planning adaptations to our global safety protocols to protect our workforce and beneficiary communities, including our construction team members whose work is essential in the address of, and recovery from, COVID-19 in the regions where we build. Following established risk assessment processes tested in geographies battling issues from political unrest to regional epidemics, and informed by corporate and government partners, we identified the highest value behaviors and activities we could implement and adapt to support our staff and local stakeholders in limiting the spread of the virus and its ill-effects on already vulnerable populations.