Sharon Chiware, Midlands Reporter
The Government has availed $900 000 for the reclamation of a massive gully in Gokwe town, which is threatening buildings and had cut through Gokwe- Chireya Road.
The massive gully started developing six years ago and has stretched for more than 20 metres, forcing the cash-strapped Gokwe Town council to close Gokwe-Chireya road.
Council is on record saying it had no capacity to reclaim the gully that was now a few metres from the new Gokwe magistrates’ court building, Government complex, Zesa offices, surrounding residential area, and other buildings.
A team of engineers led by the Midlands Provincial Road Engineer, Eng Stephen Kamutema was dispatched to the cotton farming town to assess the situation.
The gully continues to grow and Eng Kamutema said it was causing panic among Gokwe residents who fear for their property and their lives.
People, who use buildings at Gokwe Centre, are living in constant fear that their buildings might one day be swallowed by the earth owing to the sinkholes.
“We have taken responsibility to reclaim the gully. We went and managed to assess the gully and erosion control measures were put in place. We have received $900 000 from Government for the reclamation of the gulley, which is now threatening Gokwe Town,” said Eng Kamutema.
He said procurement of the required material was done and they were waiting for the water to recede and the moisture content to decrease.
“Equipment for the repair of the gully is already on the ground. We are waiting for the rains to stop so that we start back-filling in the dry seasons,” he said.
Seeing that Gokwe town was built on a plateau, Eng Kamutema recommended that there was a need for a new master plan, which shows the overall development for a water drainage system that will be responsible for collecting water.
“The gully has been developing very fast because of the nature of the town, which was built on a plateau. We recommend that a new master plan for the town be developed and initially an estimated $500 000 was needed to reclaim the gulley and prevent it from destroying infrastructure in Gokwe town but the figure has since risen to about $ 1 million,” he said.