Army roped in to fix bridges

Army roped in to fix bridges

Source: Army roped in to fix bridges – DailyNews Live

Farayi Machamire      17 March 2017

HARARE – The Transport ministry has engaged the army to assist in the
reconstruction of bridges washed away by rampaging floods, Parliament has
been told.

This comes as torrential rains have swept away five bridges along major
highways across the country.

The destroyed bridges include Nkankezi along Zvishavane-Mbalabala road in
Matabeleland South, Jeka Bridge along Danga-Dolo in Midlands and Nuanetsi
Bridge along Mberengwa-West Nicholson road in the Midlands Province.

Deputy Transport minister Michael Madanha told the National Assembly on
Wednesday that “we have also requested other parties such as the Zimbabwe
National Army to assist us, especially in the construction of bridges”.

“Bridges take long to construct,” he said.

This comes after the floods – declared a national disaster – reportedly
killed 246 people, according to officials figures while injuring 128, with
1 985 people having been declared homeless while desperate travellers are
using ladders to cross washed-away bridges, Transport minister Joram Gumbo
has said.

Madanha added that the ministry was also working on fixing potholes.

“We want to end this pothole menace that is in our nation,” he said.

Government has since set up a committee chaired by the Finance ministry to
mobilise resources for the urgent repair of roads.

Madanha said the committee had to date raised $20 million of the $100
million required for the emergency road repair programme.

“As of now, I want to enlighten this house that we now have $20 million
that is being used to address phase one that I have mentioned,” he said.

“What I would want to clarify is that whenever there are heavy rains, the
first enemy of our road network is water or the rains.”

He added: “This year, we have been blessed with a lot of rains which has
led to a bumper harvest.

“On the other hand, this rain has destroyed our road network. I want to
promise to all those listening that the government has plans to restore
our road network.”

Madanha said government had begun to roll out emergency works on the
country’s roads.

“We have three plans and the first one is on emergency works. If you go
out there, you find that there are people who are addressing the issue of
potholes to ensure that we drive on safe roads,” he said.

“The second plan is to restore our bridges and protecting them from being
washed away by the rain. The third plan is to resurface the roads.”