Talent Hwari Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) has disbursed over $45 million to local authorities for the rehabilitation of roads, following excessive damage caused by recent heavy rains. The money was disbursed under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme created in response to the damage caused by floods.
Zinara said in a statement yesterday that they managed to raise $58,6 million from capital markets through an infrastructure bond.
“Zinara entered into the Zimbabwean financial markets for the purpose of raising short-term debt of $100 million by leveraging on 2017 disbursements,” it said.
“The first tranche of the infrastructure bond of $50 million has already been oversubscribed, with $58,6 million already secured, a first Zinara is scoring on the capital markets.
“The funding facility is complementing one of Zinara’s key deliverables of disbursements to roads authorities.
“Disbursements of funds to road authorities as at mid June 2017 saw $45,6 million being disbursed.”
The Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme is being carried out in two phases, Zinara said.
“Phase one covers works of a routine nature and focuses on preserving the current infrastructure to ensure roads are in a safe condition for travellers,” it said.
“Part of the scope of works includes rehabilitation of the drainage system, pothole patching, repairing and clearing of culverts and bridges.”
The second phase focuses on periodic maintenance works and includes rehabilitation of failed sections of the road network through re-gravelling, resealing and reconstruction of bridges, said Zinara.
The first phase has a budget of $40,9 million, while $60,2 million is earmarked for the second phase.
The floods that characterised the 2016-17 rain season left a trail of destruction on the roads infrastructure, including damages to major bridges and feeder roads.
Government faces a mammoth task as the roads rehabilitation, including on areas destroyed by past floods and through other means, requires at least $5 billion.
Observers have called for partnerships with investors who can bring in the much needed capital for the roads projects.
The engagement of Greiger International of Austria to dualise the Beitbridge-Harare Highway is one of the examples of such partnerships with foreign investors.
The dualisation of the stretch is expected to start in earnest by August and will last nearly three years.
Government has said it will move on to the Harare-Chirundu Highway soon for a similar dualisation.