George Maponga in Masvingo
Villagers in Chikombedzi are risking life and limb by daily crossing the flooded and crocodile-infested Runde River with home-made canoes amid growing calls for Government to build an all-weather bridge at Chilonga.
Villagers from Chilonga, greater Sengwe and Matibi 2 in southern Chikombedzi say they have no option save to use the canoes to cross from either side of Runde after a low-lying bridge at Chilonga was submerged by floods.
The submerged bridge at Runde has resulted in Chiredzi district being cutting off with the commercial capital of Chiredzi in the north and rural Chikombedzi in the south. The river floods for close to four months annually during the rainy season.
Chiredzi Rural District Council chief executive Mr Ailess Baloyi says there is need to urgently build an all-weather bridge at Chilonga to save life.
Mr Baloyi said farmers in southern Chikombedzi were now struggling move their produce to the market in Chiredzi because of the Runde floods.
Government programmes and activities by development partners in southern Chikombedzi have also stalled owing to difficulties in accessing the area.