Zim sets aside $33.6b for roads rehabilitation

President Mnangagwa
President Mnangagwa

Sydney Kawadza

Government has set aside $33.6 billion for the rehabilitation of approximately 10 000 kilometres of Zimbabwe’s roads which have been severely dilapidated over the years.

President Mnangagwa revealed the development in a Twitter post adding that the country’s roads are in a state of emergency.

Zimbabwe has a road network of about 98 049km, distributed among the Department of Roads, urban and rural councils and the District Development Fund.

“Zimbabweans, our roads are in a state of emergency. It pains me to see so many potholes on our once great highways.

“We must act urgently. Today my government committed ZW$33.6 billion to rapidly rehabilitate 10,000 kilometres of Zimbabwe’s roads.

“I will not let you down Flag of Zimbabwe.”

President Mnangagwa had earlier today launched the Second Phase of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme here in Mt Darwin Mashonaland Province.

The ERRP2 will see roads being rehabilitated across the country.

President Mnangagwa also commissioned the Karanda Bridge which is expected to easy access to Karanda Mission Hospital that has become popular with many patients across Zimbabwe.

Treasury in has already availed $480 million towards road rehabilitation across Zimbabwe as part of measures to revive roads that have been damaged by heavy rains.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, the chairman of the Enhanced Cabinet Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management, had advised cabinet in March against the background of massive damage to infrastructure.

The rehabilitation programme is targeting regional trunk roads linking Zimbabwe with neighbouring countries and  major highways connecting the main cities.

Also targeted are major arteries in urban local authorities, rural access roads and bridges and other drainage structures weakened or damaged by flooding.

As an empowerment programme for communities, government will engage villagers under the Labour-Based Arrangement where casual work would be given to them on their respective stretches along the roads.

Zimbabwe’s road network has, over the years, become dilapidated due to neglect while most of them have outlived their lifespan.

However, incessant rains, especially during the 2020/2021 agricultural season, have also contributed to further damages to the roads which have become riddled with potholes.

Government has also started programmes to rehabilitate the country’s major roads with work on the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway already underway.

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