Takunda Maodza Manicaland Bureau Chief
THE timber industry is pleading with Government to ensure road repairs in areas affected by Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani are expedited to allow easy movement of timber to the market.
Timber carrying haulage trucks struggle to negotiate the temporary roads opened up by companies contracted to repair the roads.
Timber Producers Federation chief executive Mr Darlington Duwa last week bemoaned the slow pace of road repairs, saying they were costing the industry.
Chimanimani accounts for 60 percent of the country’s timber requirements.
“We are really affected by the slow pace of road repairs, said Mr Duwa. If the works are not expedited, especially on curves along Skyline and the water ways, the whole of Chimanimani will soon not be accessible.”
Mr Duwa said they were engaging Government over the matter.
“We are trying to lobby the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development, especially the local engineer (in Manicaland) to ensure the works are expedited, he said.
We plead with Government to make sure the road repairs are completed before the rains. Already, it takes a lot of time for the timber to reach the market because of the congestion that happens there (Chimanimani) and trucks are stuck.”
Recently, head of the Zimbabwe National Army Engineers Corp Lieutenant Colonel Aaron Edwards expressed fears that some of the companies will fail to deliver on their contracts with Government.
Government issued 21 contracts for the road repairs in Chimanimani.
“These companies I believe they will have to speed up because we have two months left (before onset of rains),” said Lt-Col Edwards.
“We are running short of time and we have to move with speed. Once it starts raining, this place will not be accessible.”