BY REX MPHISA
THE heavy rains pounding the country have left several roads in Beitbridge severely damaged and impassable.
Authorities have estimated that the reconstruction of the roads would require millions of dollars.
The heavy rains have also left several old bridges in the border town severely damaged.
The worst affected area is Beitbridge town, while rural feeder roads have also been destroyed by the rains.
Beitbridge district Department of Civil Protection officials and heads of government departments and other stakeholders yesterday discussed the damage on the road infrastructure and the need for their rehabilitation.
A District Development Fund (DDF) official last week also asked different stakeholders to take images of the badly damaged roads so that appeals could be made to central government for financing of the rehabilitation of the destroyed infrastructure.
“Anyone travelling to the rural areas, and using DDF constructed roads must kindly take pictures of damaged roads and those that have been washed away by the recent rains making them impassable,” read a message by the DDF.
Beitbridge is one of the most arid districts in the country, but this year, it has been blessed with a very rainy season.
The Shashi area, which includes large citrus plantations and leads to the Mapungubwe Trans-Frontier Park that covers parts of Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, is also one of the areas whose roads were severely damaged.
Other roads that require urgent attention are Shashe to Toporo (50km), Matshiloni to Penemene Makawa (27km) and Lutumba to Tongwe-Bulawayo main (38km). The road linking Beitbridge with Chiredzi was also washed away.
Residents in Beitbridge urban complained that the municipality had failed to build new roads in the past 10 years.
“We are appealing to the government to look into the operations of our municipality. We do not have roads and there is no solution in sight,” Elmore Moyo, a resident, said.