Rains leave roads in bad shape

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MAJOR and feeder roads in Manicaland Province are now in a sorry state, with some major highways now death traps due to craters formed along the tarmac following heavy rains received in most parts of the country recently.

Potholes are now visible in some of Manicaland Province’s major highways such as the Nyazura-Murambinda, parts of Mutare-Masvingo (Birchenough Bridge-Nyika part), some parts of Nyanga-Rusape Road especially areas near Nyahukwe, Kriste Mambo and Temaruru as well as the gravel Binya Road in Nyanga.

The notorious Flyover portion along Mutare-Chimanimani Highway is now a nightmare again to any motorist because of its bad state.

Within some urban areas of Manicaland, most roads in Chikanga (PamaChurch to TM) and Dangamvura (Mkwena to Complex), Greenside as well as in areas around Murambi near Hillside Golf Club, all in Mutare and Town-Gaza, Usanga suburb in Chipinge are now in a very bad state.

In Rusape, almost all roads that are not tarred such as Vengere-Loop Road, Magamba-Mabvazuwa Road and Inyati Mine-Chinhenga Road are almost impassable as well as the gravel part of the Headlands-Chendambuya Road.

Manicaland Provincial Roads Engineer, Engineer Kudzai Maganga, concurred that some major and feeder roads in Manicaland need urgent attention.

“We are aware that most of our roads are not in good shape and this has been worsened by the heavy rains that were received recently across the country.

“In fact, we will have an assessment of the whole province and present a detailed report to the authorities. Meanwhile, we have made requests for routine maintenance materials for some roads that need urgent attention and hopefully we will be getting something to get us on the ground,” said Engineer Maganga.

However, on the flipside, in recent years, Government has so far rehabilitated and reconstructed more than 400 kilometres of road network in Manicaland Province under various initiatives, including the Post Cyclone Idai Recovery and Resilience Programme.

Government and other implementing partners have also made huge strides in giving a facelift to road infrastructure in the province, most of which was destroyed by Cyclone Idai disaster in March 2019.

Some of the key projects include the construction of Nyahodi Number 4 Bridge and the 17km Machongwe-Rusitu Road which connects Chimanimani and Rusitu.

The development also comes after President Mnangagwa, in 2021 commissioned the 23km Kopa-Jopa Road which attested to Government’s commitment to continually improve the livelihoods of Zimbabweans through infrastructural development.

The road, which was rehabilitated premised on the build-back-better principle was completed in 14 months at a cost of $1,2 billion.

The scope of the project includes the upgrading of four bridges from single lane low-level standard to double lane high-level standard.

Rehabilitation of the road brought joy to the people of Chimanimani and Chipinge whose lives were devastated by Cyclone Idai.

Farmers would over the years watch their produce rot by the roadside, while transporters took advantage of the poor state of the road to rip-off the desperate villagers. – Manica Post