Mashonaland Central Bureau
The Department of Roads in Mashonaland Central province is expecting about $1,2 billion from Treasury and $240 million from Zinara for the rehabilitation of roads, most of which were damaged by the heavy rains.
The province is prioritising rehabilitation of roads in Mbire, Mazowe, Rushinga, Mvurwi and Muzarabani in its first phase, to allow access to markets by farmers ahead of an expected bumper harvest.
Provincial road engineer, Mr Kudzai Maganga said they needed $177 867 500 for the emergency rehabilitation project.
The approved budget for Mt Darwin-Mukumbura and Guruve-Kanyemba roads by Treasury is $1 166 480 000.
The Emergency Road Rehabilitation Project (ERRP) will run for three years and work to be done in the first phase includes wash-away repairs, pothole patching, drain and verge clearing. The second phase will include preventative work which involves reseals, re-gravelling, grading and selective rehabilitation.
The third phase will be reconstruction and construction of drainage structures, while the fourth phase will include major bridge reconstruction and repairs of structures damaged by earlier disasters.
Roads including Harare-Bindura-Mt Darwin-Mukumbura, Glendale-Chiweshe, Mvurwi-Guruve-Angwa-Kanyemba, Centenary-Gutsa, Katarira-Mahuwe, Angwa-Mukanga, Old Mazowe Road, among others, are in the first phase.
“We have received so much rains this year and as a result most of our roads were damaged by the heavy rains and have to be repaired as a matter of urgency,” said Eng Maganga.
“We are waiting for the Government to dispatch the funds so that we can start the project. Bindura-Matepatepa, Mt Darwin-Mukumbura, Shamva-Nyagande-Goora and other roads are in a bad state and will benefit from this programme.
“Selection of priority roads depends on how much the road was damaged and how important the road is to the provincial economic activities.”
Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Monica Mavhunga said budget estimates for road rehabilitation had been received and will be presented by the provincial economist.
“Government has declared a state of emergency for roads,” she said.
“As a province, we must make sure that all roads are rehabilitated, be it local authorities, District Development Funds (DDF) and Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development.
“Our province is the least urbanised and industrialised. Local authorities working together with the private sector to make sure that we are fully urbanised to enhance our economic development.”
Several road rehabilitation projects are also underway across the country as Government seeks to ensure all provinces are trafficable.
In Manicaland, the DDF has launched the emergency road repair programme to improve the road network in areas affected rains. The Nyazvidzi parallel road in Buhera became the first to benefit from the fund, which will see more communities across the province benefiting from a $40 million fund from Zinara.
DDF provincial manager, Mr Robert Chawatama, said the province was still assessing more roads destroyed by rains.
“So far we have identified 49 roads with a total of 1 307 kilometres,” he said.
“We are still carrying out an assessment of more roads in the province. A contractor, Field of Hope, has been mobilised to start work on Nyazvidzi parallel road in Buhera district, a stretch of about 96km.”
Manicaland has a rural road network of 4 205km, of which 95 percent is in a deplorable state due to the incessant rains.