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Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road rehab begins

by Staff reporter
27 Apr 2021 at 07:02hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has started rehabilitating the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway with patching of what motorists had termed 'deadly potholes.'

President Mnangagwa recently launched the Second Phase of the Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP2) after Government set aside $33,6 billion to rehabilitate the country's road network, a development that will create more than 20 000 jobs countrywide.

A news crew observed that most of the potholes especially between Insuza and Lupane, Halfway and Gwayi River as well as between Hwange and Victoria Falls have been patched. Some of the potholes were cutting across the width of the road making driving difficult as some vehicles were now leaving the road on these potholed sections.

Workmen were also observed clearing bushes and grass on the road sides. Members of the public had taken it upon themselves to fill some of the potholes with soil in their respective areas along the highway to help motorists and one of the volunteers was run over by a truck while filling potholes in Lupane last month.

Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Felix Mhona said Government is focusing on critical and urgent needs to make the roads passable and pothole patching marks the start of the rehabilitation process.

"Work has started and that's the beginning of rehabilitation work. Attention is on improving passability of roads which has been an issue and we are doing patching targeting emergencies before we focus on the bigger picture.

"We will make public all information about roads to be rehabilitated and distance for accountability and transparency so that people know which of their roads will be done and this is in line with the President's vision," said Minister Mhona.

Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo said all roads including those under rural district councils and District Development Fund will be attended to under ERRP2.

"Government has released some funds and engaged contractors to start working on the roads. Rains came as a relief in terms of food security but we now have to fix roads for ease of movement," he said.

Hwange West legislator Mr Godfrey Dube said the state of the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road has been a topic for debate in Parliament. He said instead of patching, the road needs resurfacing from Bulawayo up to the airport.

"Government is aware of the state of the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road as we have raised the issue in Parliament several times. Everyone is concerned because a distance that would take three and a half hours now takes between seven and eight hours which is not good," said Mr Dube.

"We are happy that the President declared the state of the roads a national disaster and there have been promises to start fixing the roads but we are worried about timelines. This road is key because it leads to the tourism capital and we cannot have such infrastructure as the face of the country."

Source - chroncile
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