Zimbabwe to invest US $20m in reconstruction of roads and bridges

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The government of Zimbabwe is set to invest US $20m in reconstruction of bridges and creation of detours in Chimanimani and Chipinge to enable food distribution vehicles to pass through.

Manicaland Provincial Administrator Mr Edgars Seenza confirmed the reports and said that over 13 roads and bridges are scheduled for reconstruction and repair and the ministry has already contracted two companies to carry out rehabilitation works.

“We are looking at roads that are critical to move food and non-food items to our people. We have asked the Ministry of Transport to suspend operations on other roads and concentrate on these critical roads so that we are able to reach the communities,” said Mr Edgars Seenza.

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Reconstruction works

JR Goddard (Pvt) Limited had earlier been contracted to work on various sections of the Wengezi-Chimanimani Road and so far, a 11km stretch from Heatfield Primary School to Peacock had been completed.

Mr Seenza said that two detour roads at Mhandarume and Nyahodi bridges had already been opened to traffic while the one at Lydia Chimonyo was still under construction. He further explained that completion of the detour was being delayed by rains.

“Along the Wengezi-Chimanimani Road, there are a number of bridges that were damaged and they (contractors) are preparing detour roads and some have been completed at Umvumvumvu, Lydia Chimonyo and at Nyahodi where backfilling of 13 out of 16 layers has been done,” said Mr Seenza.

A Chinese company had also been contracted to work on the Skyline-Charter-Ngangu Road section where realignment of the road and clearing of debris were being carried out The company was also working on Nyahodi Bridge and had promised that work would be completed within two days if it does not rain.

Other routes that the contractors are working on include Chipinge-Paidamoyo-Kopa, Nyahode-Gata-Mutakura and the Cashel-Chikukwa roads. A delegation of 18 chiefs drawn from the Zimbabwe Chiefs’ Council (ZCC) visited areas affected by Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani.

“People are expecting answers and explanations from the chiefs as they are the owners of the land. We will sit down as chiefs and try to share notes on how best our counterparts could rehabilitate families and their communities,” said Chief Charumbira based on his observation during the visit.