An assessment of the state of major roads in Matabeleland South province’s seven administrative districts has begun to ascertain the extent of rainfall-induced damages.
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development is leading the exercise.
The Herald understands that the province has a road network of 11 595km, of which 1 053km is tarred while 10 542km is gravel and earth.
The provincial roads Engineer Joseph Makokove on Thursday said most roads in the province were in bad shape.
He said the assessment process was ongoing and that more repairs will start after the rainy season. “Our teams are busy on the ground assessing the extent of the damages on all the roads under our jurisdiction,” said Engineer Makokove.
Presently, they are concentrating on making selected roads accessible, to ensure that communities are not completely cut off from accessing basic social amenities and other needs such as health care and the movement of drought relief grain.
Engineer Makokove said they were yet to ascertain the actual amount of money needed to fix all the roads since the assessment of damages was ongoing.
The development comes a few weeks after the District Development Fund (DDF) started rehabilitating most link roads in the province after receiving $40 million from Government.
Provincial coordinator, Mr Moment Malandu, said they were expecting more funding and an additional grader to boost their capacity on the ground.
He said they had requested for $229 million from Government to service 808km.
“The current target is to work on a total of 179 km in Beitbridge, 63 km in Umzingwane, 109km in Gwanda, 136km in Insiza, 119km in Matobo, 127km in Bulilima, and 75km in Mangwe districts respectively.
“The money will be used for spot gravelling, regrading, reshaping, culverts, piped drifts, and bridges’ construction,” he said
Mr Malandu said they were hoping to get more equipment from their head office so that they carry out the work expeditiously.
Currently, DDF has one grader that caters for the whole of Matabeleland South and in the interim, the organisation is using contractors for some of the civil works.