From Conrad Mupesa in MHANGURA
Makonde Rural District Council is grading and patching potholes on major roads in the district, which were destroyed by heavy rains experienced in the 2016-17 rainy season. The council, which targets to grade and patch potholes on at least 400 kilometres of tarred and gravel roads this year, has since January managed to revamp more than 280km in many wards of the district. The council’s overall engineer Mr Menard Nyikadzino highlighted that various major roads in different wards have so far been attended to.
“About 80km have so far been graded since June this year bringing the total to more than 280km since January. We hope to have covered at least 120km by year-end to bring the total to 400km.”
Eng Nyikadzino also said about $35 000 had so far been used in the roads restoring process since June this year.
“Including tar patching, culvert drain opening, acquiring of bitumen and other machinery spares, we have so far used about $35 000, the figure also includes bush clearing, labour hiring and fuel,” he added.
The council was also repairing a few bridges that were also destroyed by heavy rains. The council however highlighted that it was working with only one grader, which is overwhelmed, while the other one belonging to the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (ZINARA) is constantly breaking down despite it being repaired on a number of occasions. ZINARA had through the District Development Fund partnered the council to grade some of the roads in the district. The grading of roads was expected to speed up the distribution of inputs as some transporters were shunning the roads due to their state.
The council’s chief executive Mrs Lahliwe Murefu said regrading is being done on a shoestring budget as withdrawal of levy collection from local authorities had affected road maintenance. Meanwhile, the chairperson Mr Davet Muzvidzwa implored ratepayers to pay their outstanding bills or submit their payment plans to council, so that it can provide adequate services.