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Government to start upgrading Nkayi Airstrip

by Staff reporter
15 Feb 2023 at 05:01hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT will next month start upgrading Nkayi Airstrip in Matabeleland North Province with $40 million already set aside for the project as the Second Republic continues to roll out key infrastructure development across the country.

The robust infrastructure development projects being rolled out by the Second Republic are driving the success of Government's National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), the five-year economic blueprint spanning 2021 to 2025.

The Nkayi Airstrip rehabilitation is the second similar project in Matabeleland North following the successful completion of the Binga Airstrip as part of Government efforts to improve accessibility to the district and facilitate smooth tourism business in line with NDS1.

The main aspirations of NDS1 include infrastructural development as a key enabler in attaining Vision 2030 of having an upper middle-income economy.

Nkayi Airstrip rehabilitation is one of the several key projects being undertaken by the Government in Matabeleland region, through the Rural Infrastructural Development Agency (RIDA) in 2023.

RIDA deputy director for monitoring and evaluation Ms Zivai Chisango said RIDA will also undertake regravelling works covering 30km for three roads in Lupane, Hwange and Binga districts at a cost of $129 million including the construction of a new bridge in Bubi District at a cost of $50 million.

"The Nkayi airstrip upgrading and rehabilitation is expected to start next month and tentatively end in June. We have set aside $40 million for this project and also budgeted $129 million for road works in Lupane, Hwange and Binga districts," she said.
RIDA director general, Mr Christopher Shumba said work at the airstrip site will begin with the clearing of bush.

"We will start with bush clearing because we noticed there is an aircraft that is already utilising that airstrip. We will also do grading, the markings and fence maintenance," said Mr Shumba.

Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo said the Nkayi airstrip project is yet another testimony to the Second Republic's commitment towards driving economic development in the province through infrastructural development.

"We want to thank President Mnangagwa for walking the talk that no one and no place will be left behind in terms of development. When he made a commitment that Binga Airstrip will be rehabilitated there were doubting Thomases, but work has been completed and the airstrip has helped change the face of Binga," he said.

"A few months ago following the completion of Binga Airstrip, the Second Republic is embarking on another project to rehabilitate Nkayi Airstrip and as a residents in the province, we must appreciate all these works by the Government."

Minister Moyo said Nkayi district has for years been lagging behind in terms of infrastructural development despite its potential for an economic growth due to its abundant natural resources. Nkayi district is rich in terms of and aquatic life and birdlife with the eye-catching Mbazhe Bird Sanctuary, being an attraction in terms of ecotourism.

The savannah forestry makes a breathtaking scenery for nature lovers while Gwampa Valley Forest broods diversified wildlife that seasonally migrates to and from Hwange National Park.

Nkayi Centre is strategically located close to the two cities of Bulawayo and Kwekwe. It is situated about 100 km west of Kwekwe and 168 km northeast of Bulawayo.

Minister Moyo said the rehabilitation of the airstrip coupled with the Bulawayo-Nkayi road upgrade will spur economic growth and change the face of the district.

"I recently recommended that three contractors be brought on board to work on the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road. One will start working from Nkayi towards Bulawayo, the other from the middle with the third contractor working from Bulawayo towards Nkayi," he said.

Source - The Chronicle
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