$14,5m secured for roads rehab

Debra Matabvu
Government has secured about $14,5 million for road rehabilitation as a response to increased road damages that have been worsened by incessant rains across the country.The Sunday Mail has gathered that a Government inter-ministerial committee has since been set up to oversee the implementation of the road rehabilitation programme programme.

Government intends to raise $100 million for the road emergency rehabilitation programme with the Zimbabwe National Administration (ZINARA) acting as guarantor of the money to be disbursed to urban council, rural district councils and other road departments.

In an interview last week, Minister for Transport and Infrastructural Development, Dr Jorum Gumbo said to date $14,5 million had been raised and distributed to urban and rural local authorities.

“Government set up a committee chaired by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development that meets every week to plan and guide the road emergency repair programme,” he said.

“There are two sub committees that meet as often as necessary to carry out tasks directed by the main committee and these are, Finance subcommittee chaired by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and Technical subcommittee chaired by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.

“Government intends to raise $100 million for the road emergency rehabilitation programme, through a Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) bond which will be distributed to Department of Roads (DOR), District Development Fund (DDF) and urban council and Rural District Councils (RDCs).

“The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has to date raised $14,5 million that is intended to be revised for the emergency road repair programme and $9,5 million has been availed to DOR and $5 million to the other authorities- Urban councils, DDF and RDCs.”

Dr Gumbo indicated that work had already began on roads in urban councils as well as rural districts around the country.

Road repairs hve already started in areas such as Matabeleland South, Midlands, Manicaland as well as Harare Metropolitan. “Work started on roads repairs in Harare in February (last month). This work will continue with roads in the Central Business District (CBD), low and high density suburbs being next in line,” he added. “At Nkankezi (Matebeleland South), the low level bridge on the old strip road has been repaired and opened to traffic.

“Temporary approaches have been constructed on Mwanezi Bridge on the Mberengwa-West Nicholson Road in Midlands and it has now been opened to traffic.

“Following the end of rains a detour will be constructed and the bridge approaches will be constructed properly.”

Government says the country’s entire road network has outlived its lifespan.

Zimbabwe requires at least $2,2 billion to rehabilitate the national road network comprising approximately 17 000 km of tarred roads and 71 000 km of gravel.

The construction of new roads and dilapidated ones require at least $5 billion.

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