$533 million for Matabeleland North road rehabilitation

Source: $533 million for Matabeleland North road rehabilitation | Sunday News (local news)

Fairness Moyana in Hwange
AT least 80 percent of Hwange district’s roads are in a dire state and in need of urgent rehabilitation, the District Development Fund (DDF) has revealed.

Briefing the Minister of State for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Cde Richard Moyo and permanent secretary in the Office of the Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Major General (Rtd) Godfrey Chanakira during a monitoring exercise of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) in Hwange on Wednesday, the parastatal indicted most of the roads in the area were now un-trafficable.

“Hwange district has a road network of 270 kilometres which are feeder roads to rural communities. The roads were constructed in the 80s to mid nineties and have now outlived their economic life span of 15 to 20 years. More than 80 percent of the road network now requires urgent rehabilitation.

The heavy rains received during the 2020/21 season worsened an already bad situation, rendering the whole road network un-trafficable,” said Mrs Nomcele Ncube who was standing for the DDF coordinator Ms Fidelia Lumano.

She said under the second phase of ERRP, DDF will continue with routine road maintenance and repairing major damages to the roads.

“We will continue with routine road maintenance using DDF teams and to repair all major damages on the road network using outsourced equipment. Earth works, structure and routine maintenance covering grading, verge clearing, pothole filling, culverts cleaning and sign maintenance are in progress,” she said.

Mrs Ncube said DDF was faced with a number of challenges that included failure to access fueling in local currency, constant plant and equipment breakdown and lack of recapitalisation.

“Some of the challenges we are facing include failure by the contractor to access fuel in local currency, slow rates slowed progress but that has since been resolved, recapitalisation, constant plant and equipment breakdowns.”

She said DDF received $50 million which has been used for spot graveling (88.5 percent), motorised grading (67.89 percent), drainage structures repair and construction (80 percent), opening of drains (28.6 percent), verge clearing (73.6 percent) and pothole filling (2.9 percent).

She said a contractor was engaged to accelerate the project Maj Gen (Rtd) Chanakira said he was impressed with the work covered arguing that more needed to be done before the rainy season.

“I’m happy with the progress made so far by DDF implementing ERRP2 which is meant to address the state of our roads. If DDF can do such works local authorities such as Hwange Local Board and Rural District Council can also emulate. We need to assist each other in speeding up the implementation of ERRP2,” he said.

Government recently allocated $533m to Matabeleland North for road rehabilitation with the City of Victoria Falls being allocated $105m, Hwange Local Board, $31m and Hwange Rural District Council $81m. However, the local authorities have only received part of their allocation.