Villagers in Nyanga North are risking life and limb crossing flooded rivers to access health institutions, schools and food distribution centres as bridges that were damaged by several natural disasters that hit the area over the years remain unrepaired.
Nyanga North legislator Cde Chido Sanyatwe said some of the infrastructure, like the Rwenya and Nyamatubu bridges were destroyed by heavy rains back in 2013 but have not been fixed since then.
Rwenya bridge connects Nyanga North in Manicaland and Mutoko in Mashonaland East which means regular movement between communities on either side.
However, rising water levels have meant all alternative routes have been closed off, leaving villagers stranded.
“For the past few years, we have experienced droughts so the rivers were passable via detours but some of those alternative roads have been covered as water levels rose this season. We have many such bridges here, some were destroyed long back and others were destroyed this year by the heavy rains and villagers are totally cut off. They cannot access the hospitals and Department of Social Development’s food distribution centres. We have heard of people swimming to cross the rivers and this is dangerous,” she said.
She said she had moved a motion in Parliament for Government to prioritise the repair of such bridges as they are key to the development of Nyanga district in line with the Vision 2030.