LOCAL authorities have started submitting lists of roads that need rehabilitation under the US $400 million Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme that is set to repair and reconstruct dilapidated roads and bridges around the country.
The road recovery programme underlines Government’s commitment to advance infrastructure development and modernise the country in line with Vision 2030.
The programme’s first phase will commence immediately and run for the next two months, focusing on emergency road works.
Government has set up an inter-ministerial committee which comprises the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), the Ministries of Finance and Economic Development, Transport and Infrastructural Development, Road Authorities, Local authorities and the District Development Fund (DDF) for the implementation and monitoring of the programme.
It will run over a period of 36 months and has been divided into three phases.
In an interview Permanent Secretary for Transport and Infrastructural Development, Engineer Theodius Chinyanga said local authorities have started categorising roads that need rehabilitation.
“So far we have set up an inter-Ministerial Committee and technical committee for the implementation and monitoring of the programme. Some of the local authorities have started submitting their lists of roads that need to be fixed and we are looking at them.
“The identification of roads will also involve Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs together with Provincial Development Committees for implementation and monitoring.”
This Tuesday, Cabinet will be appraised on the working plans for the programme.
Cabinet is also expected to give further direction on how the roads rehabilitation programme can be expedited.
“I will be presenting the latest assessments to determine the full scale of damage and financial cost to Cabinet this week which are set to be approved so I cannot say much, however so far we have divided the programme into three phases.
“We anticipate to start the First phase of preventative works as soon as possible and it will run for 60 days.
“Thereafter, we anticipate the rain season will be over and we then move to Phase two which will run up to October/November this year. This will be the restorative stage.
“The third stage will focus on reconstruction which focus on bridges.”
“Part of the technical committee includes Zinara, Provincial Road Engineers, Provincial Development Committees (PDCs).”
Zinara spokesperson Mr Tendai Mugabe last week said the road administrator would play its part to support the road rehabilitation programme and referred further questions to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development.
Government intends to raise US$400 million for the road emergency rehabilitation programme through Zinara and Treasury.
These funds will be disbursed to urban and rural district councils among other road departments.
An initial US$80 million will cover emergency road works for 60 days; US$120 million for preventive works spanning six months; US$120 million for rehabilitation and reconstruction works spanning six to 18 months and US$80 million for other related works spanning 18 to 36 months.
The District Development Fund (DDF) has already embarked on road rehabilitation across the country and has set aside nearly $238 million for works in Midlands, Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Masvingo and Matabeleland South provinces.