Rural roads rehab begins in earnest

Michael Magoronga

Midlands Correspondent

The District Development Fund is working hard on rehabilitating the rural road network damaged by the heavy rains using $400 million from the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (zinara).

The Government has declared the country’s roads a state of disaster. 

DDF is in charge of 32 000 kilometres rural road network across the country.

The DDF teams, led by acting director roads Engineer Goodwell Mapako, are on a nationwide tour of work being done and yesterday they visited places where the Kwekwe-Mvuma road is being rehabilitated.

In an interview during a tour of Kwekwe-Mvuma road, Eng Mapako said DDF was initially targeting sections that were severely damaged.

“We have embarked on a massive road rehabilitation programme across the nation and we are initially targeting those sections which were severely damaged by heavy rains,” he said.

Although the money received from ZINARA falls far short of their budget, it would have a significant impact.

“Our initial budget was $1,7 billion for the rehabilitation of our 32 000 kilometres of road across the country,” said Eng Mapako. 

“The money that we have received so far falls far short of what we require but we are grateful and hopeful that very soon we are going to receive more funding from the Government.”

DDF was not waiting for the rains to stop.

“We are targeting those roads that are in dire need of repair so that communities are able to travel. We are not going to wait for the rains to stop but whenever we get a chance, we work so that our roads become trafficable,” he said.

“We are doing this in preparation of a bumper harvest we are expecting this year as a result of heavy rains received this season. The country has also started receiving Covid-19 vaccines and we want them to be able to reach every part of the country once the distribution starts,” he said.

“In every province we are making sure that at least 1 000 kilometres of road are rehabilitated during this first phase. But in the long run we want every kilometre of our 32 000-kilometer network to have been rehabilitated. No road will be left unattended as rains were received in every part of the country,” he said.

Kwekwe District Coordinator DDF, Mr Marvelous Mataga said 35 kilometres of the road were in need of the greatest attention. Kwekwe-Mvuma road was a busy road which is frequented by farmers and miners alike.

“This is a strategic road for our farmers as we are expecting a bumper harvest this year. We want our farmers to be able to deliver their yield to the Grain Marketing Board and also be able to receive their inputs. We also want the miners to be able to access the Kwekwe CBD for their requirements. Besides this is also the shortest road linking Kwekwe and Masvingo,” said Eng. Mapako.

“So far we have managed to do about 28 kilometres of the 35 kilometres. We are doing this against prevailing weather conditions as at times we are disturbed by the rains but once they stop, we continue with our work so that people can travel safely,” he said.

He said in Kweke, DDF was targeting to rehabilitate about 597-kilometres of road across the district.

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