Cyclone Idai reconstruction: Firms running out of time

09 Sep, 2019 - 00:09 0 Views
Cyclone Idai reconstruction: Firms running out of time (file) The tropical storm destroyed infrastructure and flattened communities as it tore largely through the Manicaland region. - Picture: Believe Nyakudjara

The Herald

Takunda Maodza  Manicaland Bureau Chief

SOME companies awarded contracts for the reconstruction of Cyclone Idai-affected areas in Chipinge and Chimanimani have made headway, while others are not yet on the ground, raising fears they will not be able to complete their work before onset of the rainy season.

Government awarded 21 contracts for the repair of roads and bridges in areas affected by the cyclone in Manicaland Province.

This does not translate to 21 companies, as some of them got more than one contract.

Cyclone Idai ravaged Chimanimani and Chipinge in March this year, killing hundreds and destroying infrastructure worth over a billion United States dollars.

The cyclone destroyed bridges and roads, making access, especially to Chimanimani, impossible. The first phase of reconstruction efforts, which saw construction of temporary structures, ended in July and a second phase which will see construction of permanent structures is underway.

Briefing Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda on Friday when he visited Kopa and other parts of Chimanimani affected by the cyclone, head of the Zimbabwe National Army Engineers Corp Lieutenant Colonel Aaron Edwards expressed fears that some of the companies will fail to deliver on their contracts with Government.

“These companies I believe they will have to speed up because we have two months left (before onset of rains),” said Lt-Col Edwards.

“We are running short of time and we have to move with speed. Once it starts raining, this place will not be accessible.”

Lt-Col Edwards said some of the companies were still mobilising resources and were not yet on the ground despite the risk of rains.

“Some of the companies are not yet on the ground,” he said.

“Others are still mobilising. We are running out of time. The type of soil here is more like clay. Hopefully the companies awarded the contracts will speed up.”

Of the companies that were awarded the contracts, only Bitumen World, J.R Goddard and Masimba are now on the ground.

Bitumen World has finished work on Nyahodi Number 2 Bridge.

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