$30m Mutare urban renewal project begins
Abel Zhakata Mutare Bureau
Civil works have started on the $30 million urban renewal project in Mutare’s Sakubva high density suburb, that will result in the demolition of old and delapidated houses and flats to pave way for high rise modern apartments.
Government has already put in $2 million as seed capital to kick start the building of new and modern flats in Sakubva, where existing ones are overcrowded and filthy, conditions necessary for spreading of diseases.
It is expected that more funds would be sourced for a similar project in Makokoba in Bulawayo and Mbare in Harare, to build new apartments equipped with modern accessories.
The urban renewal project, which is set to provide decent accommodation to residents, was recently launched by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
Manicaland provincial public works director, Engineer Tendai Chiwanza revealed yesterday that preliminary civil construction works were now complete in Sakubva.
Last month, Government injected a seed capital of $2 million to kick start the urban renewal project in the eastern border city, with Minister Saviour Kasukuwere promising residents that work would start soon. “We have completed the topographical survey of the site where we will construct the four storey blocks,” said Eng Chiwanza.
“This involved the analysis of the ground which is essential in coming up with appropriate foundation designs that match the type of soil at the site. This information also helps in determining the site layout.”
Eng Chiwanza said his department had also engaged engineers from the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company for the diversion of a power line that passes through the construction site.
“We have also finished positioning the seven blocks that we will construct,” he said. “The department has decided to build three of the blocks whose positioning does not interfere with nearby existing houses.
“After we finish constructing these blocks, we will relocate residents and house them in the new flats and then demolish the old structures they are living in to pave way for the construction of the remaining four blocks.”
Government is going to provide more funding towards the project, while the City of Mutare has already engaged financial institutions under the public-private-partnership to raise the balance.
When he officially launched the project last month, Minister Kasukuwere said some of the houses in Sakubva had outlived their existence.
He said urban renewal would bring a new look to Sakubva, where modern flats would be constructed through the collaboration of Government, City of Mutare and the private sector, through the public private partnerships.
Minister Kasukuwere said some of the housing units in Sakubva were meant to house single black men during the colonial era and with population growth over the decades, they had outlived their purpose.
“Despite the increasing population, the infrastructure has not been improving to match the same,” he said then. “You will realise that most of the housing units have deteriorated to an all time low and have little or no infrastructure.
“Truly speaking, some of the houses are inhabitable by any standards. The local authority alone is unable to revamp Sakubva to the required standards. Government or the private sector on their own is also not able to rebuild Sakubva to international standards.
“The urban renewal project seeks to spruce up conditions of these former bachelor accommodation of pre-independence era by focusing on the construction of modern low to medium income high-rise apartments and the provisions of utilities and other ancillary services.”