Abel Zhakata Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT has released $30 million in the last six months to the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme in Manicaland to repair and reconstruct major roads in the province that had suffered from years of neglect and adverse weather conditions.
The funding was availed by the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
In an interview last Friday during a tour of some of the projects in Manicaland, provincial roads engineer Arnold Mutungwazi said more funding was being released to complete the works.
He said at least $200 million is required rehabilitate all roads in the province.
“This year we have received around $30 million for roads reconstruction. We did our calculations last year and in Manicaland we require around $200 million to reconstruct all the roads. some of them are quite long.
“If you look at the Murambinda-Birchenough Road its around 100km, Headland-Mayo Road its almost 80km. These roads are gravel roads and we need to upgrade them to surface roads,” he said.
Eng Mutungwazi said meaningful progress on the roads rehabilitation programme began this year.
“Last year we had quite a number of projects that we wanted to do. We managed to complete some of the projects but some are still hanging due to financial constraints. In 2017 we managed to complete the reseal of the Rusape-Nyanga (10km) which was worth $550 000. We also managed to do Chivhu-Nyazura (10km) at a cost of $660 000; we also did the Mutare CBD (15km) that amounted to $500 000. The 7km Vumba Road was done at a cost of $340 000.”
Local private companies were taken onboard to work on some of the projects and speed up the works.
“Some of the projects we did on our own but some were contracted to local companies. The most key project that we wanted to do last year was Ngundu-Tanganda.
“There were some challenges during the tendering process but these challenges were later resolved and we managed to do the project this year. The first phase of that project was 30km and we managed to complete that phase in just two months.
“The cost of that first phase was $4,2 million. The other project that we wanted to do last year but we couldn’t was the Nyamangura Bridge construction in Makoni District.
“We have now received funding for the project to the tune of $800 000 and right now the contractor is busy mobilising equipment and resources on site.
“Coming back to Tanganda-Ngundu Road we are now doing the tendering process for the second phase of the project which covers 54km. We intend to complete that project this year. Funding has already been availed. The other road we could not do last year was the Chimanimani-Tilbury.
“We did it this year and subcontracted it to Bitumen World. The cost of the project was initially $560 000 but due to some extra works the final cost is now around $700 000. The road is now being used.
“We are now doing the Murambinda-Birchenough Bridge Road that was long abandoned 10 years ago which is about 105km. To date we have received $8 million for the construction of the road and we are going to cover around 20km.
“The Ministry of Finance has promised to avail more funds as we progress with the construction. We have also started the construction of the Nyanga-Ruwangwe Road, the one commonly referred to as Bhinya Road. The Ministry of Finance has availed $7,5 million which will cover around 15km. The Odzi-Marange Road is also going to be worked on and funds are on the way,” he said.