Govt targets repair of bridges

The new political dispensation has prioritised the maintenance and rehabilitation of bridges throughout the country.

For the period January to May 2018, Government has consistently disbursed funds to the four Road Authorities; the District Development Fund (DDF), Department of Roads, Urban Councils and Rural District Councils, for the maintenance and rehabilitation of and bridges under the Government of Zimbabwe’s initiative on roads rehabilitation.

For the period, January to May 2018, the District Development Fund received disbursements of US$5 373 664. This disbursement covered re-gravelling, grass cutting, grading, culvert repairs, culvert construction, repairs of bridges among other activities.

In Manicaland Province, Nyadi Bridge was completed while Chadzire bridge is still work in progress. In Mashonaland Central, funds were disbursed towards the repairs of Sapa, Hambe and Karanda bridges. In Masvingo Province, the DDF disbursed funds towards the repairs of Chivaka, Muroyi, Makura and Lower Shange bridges which are still work in progress and at various stages of completion. In Matabeleland South Province, Mtshelele and Nsezi bridges were completed while in Midlands Province Gwemombe, Musavezi, Mhende, Chemusonde, Pohwe and Masawi bridges are all work in progress. In Matabeleland North, Somgolo bridge is still work in progress. These bridges are being repaired under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP).

In 2017, following floods triggered by torrential rains that pounded the country, several bridges were washed away while some bridge approaches were washed away, cutting off communities.

Five bridges along major highways across the country were also swept away while bridge approaches on the Nkankezi Bridge along Mbalabala – Zvishavane highway were washed away. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development immediately responded by raising US$14,5 million to restore connectivity.

The Government of Zimbabwe has taken an initiative to rehabilitate the country’s road network that had been extensively damaged during the last rain season.

It is the new political dispensation’s thrust for Zimbabwe to have a well-developed, trafficable and safe trunk, rural and urban road network. The general condition of most roads in the country has deteriorated due to inadequate funding for routine maintenance.

Government has prioritised preservation of the road infrastructure from further deterioration and safe passage for travellers. Major works undertaken include rehabilitation of the drainage system, clearing of culverts and bridges as well as repair of damaged road sections.

Under this initiative which is already underway, focus is on major rehabilitation works, reconstruction of damaged bridges, including preventive periodic maintenance works and rehabilitation of failed sections of the road network.

This initiative’s implementation is being co-ordinated through a Project Steering Committee (PSC), which provides policy guidance. The Project Steering Committee is chaired by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and is constituted of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development; Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing; the District Development Fund (DDF) and ZINARA.

For the period June to July 2018, US$20 million has been allocated by the political dispensation towards this initiative.

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