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Zimbabwe to force road construction firms to erect fences along highways

by Staff reporter
09 Jun 2024 at 04:05hrs | Views
The Government is considering new legislation to mandate that companies contracted for major road rehabilitation projects erect fences along highways to prevent accidents caused by stray domestic and wild animals.

Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Davis Marapira discussed this proposal with small-scale farmers in Umguza district, Matabeleland North province, highlighting the high prevalence of such accidents in the region.

Marapira emphasized that erecting fences would significantly reduce road carnage by stopping animals from straying onto the roads. He also mentioned the need for new laws to penalize individuals who allow their animals to roam onto highways or who vandalize the fences, contributing to these accidents.

The proposed measures include imprisoning those who steal or damage fences and possibly confiscating and auctioning stray livestock to fund the fencing projects. He referenced Statutory Instrument 308 of 1974, which already prohibits grazing near roads but is not enforced.

Marapira praised the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) for its initiatives like animal tagging for nighttime visibility and the highway fencing project, though he noted the issue of fence vandalism by local communities. He urged local leaders to help protect this infrastructure.

TSCZ managing director Munesu Munodawafa added that an average of five people die daily in road accidents, with 38 more injured. He noted the reconstruction of vandalized fences along the Gweru to Plumtree highway and called on the community to safeguard these efforts.

Source - New Ziana.