US $23m has been disbursed by Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) to the country’s 60 Rural District Councils (RDCs) to to facilitate the continued rehabilitation of rural roads.
Zinara acting chief executive officer Engineer Moses Chigonyati confirmed the report and said that the money is part of a US $38,4m resource envelope for rural roads. He further pointed out that the Government considers the country’s road network as vital to promoting industry and commerce, especially as the country primes itself to attain upper middle-income status by 2030.
“We had budgeted US $38,4m for rural road rehabilitation and of that amount, we have disbursed US $22,7m to 60 RDCs. Some of the RDCs started surfacing their centres (growth points) using the money we gave them and are also in the process of gravelling their road networks,” said Eng Chigonyati.
Poor state of roads
According to a countrywide Visual Road Condition and Inventory Survey, which was carried out in 2016/2017 by the country’s road authorities, road network in Zimbabwe plays a major role in the movement of the country’s imports and exports as well as transit freight.
However, most of the road network is reportedly in bad condition. Out of the country’s 98 000 km road network, 89% (78 200 km) is made up of un-surfaced roads, while gravel and earth roads make up 47 479 km and 27 532 km, respectively.
The sealed road network mainly in urban areas and the main highways constitute 18 percent or 17 846 km. The bad road network in the country requires an estimated US $5.5bn for maintenance and rehabilitation