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Cowdray Park residents cry foul over road project

by Staff reporter
19 Sep 2021 at 08:27hrs | Views
COWDRAY Park residents have appealed to the Bulawayo City Council to prioritise the completion of the road linking the suburb and Hlalani Kuhle residential stands, as the rainy season is fast approaching.

Residents who live at Hlalani Kuhle houses — Segment Eight — have over the years appealed for the construction of a bridge as during the rainy season their area becomes impassable because of stream flooding, making it difficult for them to link up with shops, schools, clinics and the main road to the city centre.

During the rainy season, residents in the suburb have constantly failed to access the main road connecting Cowdray Park with the Hlalani Kuhle section leading to enterprising young men taking advantage of the situation by carrying people on their backs to cross the streams for a fee.

It has also emerged that Zupco has once again withdrawn buses to the area due to the state of the road, with residents now forced to walk over three kilometres to access public transport.

Bulawayo Housing Consortium Trust had been awarded the tender to rehabilitate the road and the bridge under the devolution funds facility.

However, the contractor has since stopped works as the local authority is said to be working on adjusting rates.

"Our concern is that come rainy season which is a few months away, this road will be totally unusable and the progress that had been made on part of the road will be reversed hence the whole project will have to be restarted.

"We appeal to the local authority to address this issue as a matter of urgency because it is not like they do  not have the funds because the devolution fund was allocated they just have to reach an understanding with the contractor and the project is completed," said Mr Max Mlilo, a resident in the area.

Cowdray Park councillor, Kidwell Mujuru said it was worrying that the project was taking too long to complete.

"Residents have been constantly demanding answers from me, answers which I cannot even give them, right now the situation has been worsened by Zupco withdrawing their buses to some parts of the suburb because of the state of the roads.

"I have tried to engage the responsible authorities within our roads department and my hope is that they note the plea by residents and reach an understanding with the contractor so that rehabilitation works commence," said Clr Mujuru.

In 2019 BCC Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Simela Dube was quoted as saying the funding for the project was coming through the Government's Public Sector Investment programme, revealing that the local authority had received a total of $4 million which will all be channeled to Cowdray Park.

"At least $3 million will be channelled towards the construction of the bridge and the access road. Actually the construction of the bridge has already started, with the contractor already on site, our projection is that the bridge will be completed by the start of the rainy season.

"The other $1 million will be used to procure materials for the installation of sewerage pipes.

"As you know we are in the process of installing sewer reticulation which was not there when the suburb was established," said Eng Dube.

Source - sundaynews