Mr. Ho Juh Kuen (Mr. Ho)
Current Council Member and senior mentor of the Foundation, Former director of Project Committee, Foundation's name initiator
Wu Zhi Qiao at Maoji Village.
The first Wu Zhi Qiao was completed in August 2005 in Puhe, Maoji village, Qingyang City, Gansu Province. A river has divided a remote and impoverished village in Gansu province into two. The normal quiet river would occasional caused severe damages.
Just recalled when we made investigation trip on site and communicated with the villagers at Maoji village. A villager said: "I was very frustrated with this river since two family members have been lost. Personally I did not want to live anymore.” Another student at the village stated "Once I was not careful I dropped my schoolbag into the river when crossing the river, and my books were all wet. Sometimes when the river rose up, we could not walk pass. "
"It would be remarkable if we could help to build a simple bridge for the villagers so that they can go to school irrespective of the water level." With the captioned belief, we have launched to design and construct the bridge. The original idea was that the selected methodology should be efficient and economy to solve the students of crossing the river to school. The bridge with expected to be used for 8-10 years. It was anticipated that with the economic development in the region, a more appropriate bridge would be built accordingly.
Witness the development of Maoji Village
During the cold winter in 2019, I returned to Maoji village with a team of students and the Foundation's project team. This return visit was really valuable and certified that the original design concept was durable even after over ten years with flooding for many times, the bridge could stand.
Although the bridge could survive, yet the bamboo board at the surface has been fully renovated. In fact, the bridge has completed its historical role and reserved merely as part of the Maoji village eco-tourism, with a parallel car and road bridge by its side for use by the villagers.
After 15 years, I have witnessed the rapid economic development in the Mainland. Maoji village has undergone dramatic changes, the villagers who used to live in caves, have moved to the government's newly built houses. The caves were transformed to serve the tourist for the development of eco-tourism.
Witness the growth of the Foundation
For the past ten years, the Foundation has experienced great leaps and development. As from 2016, with assistance by the students from Tongji University, Chongqing Jiaotong University, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Foundation has built the first experimental Bailey bridge in Machi village, Chongqing. Followed by project at Liuzhu village, Yunnan in 2017 and the Liguang village project in 2018, the Foundation has made a number of improvements and enhancement for the construction of Bailey bridge with extension of width from 1.3 meters to 1.5 meters wide. In 2019, under the supervision of the Project Committee, a "Bailey Footbridge Construction Manual" was completed for the reference by appropriate regions and countries.
During the past decade, I have the privilege to witness development of the Foundation:
With reflection of the past twelve years, I have witnessed the sustain development of the various university teams, The "Bailey Footbridge Construction Manual" would soon be released and learned that ten bailey footbridges have been constructed in Africa. I hope the different teams would endure to collaborate and strive for enhancements. Extension of horizon with project potential to Belt and Road region with a view to spread the Wu Zhi Qiao's technology and spirit.