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Zimbabwe heavy rains: Buhera cut off

Mtshabezi River Bridge flooded yesterday
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TORRENTIAL rains that have been received across the country has cut off most parts of Buhera South from the rest of the country following the sweeping away of bridges as well as destruction of houses in the area.

The usually drought prone Buhera South was among the first areas in the country to receive rains.

Instead of bringing the much-needed relief to the area, the rains have destroyed infrastructure, especially roads and bridges.

Navigating along the roads in the area is now a nightmare as gullies litter them, while some bridges were swept away.

Some bridges are now covered with sand and transport challenges are haunting the villagers as transporters are not willing to risk their vehicles.

Some villagers in areas around Chabata and Bhegedhe are enduring walking distances of between 30km to 40km to get transport to carry them to either Birchenough Bridge or Murambinda Growth Point.

Buhera South legislator, Honourable Joseph Chinotimba confirmed the sorry state of affairs in his constituency and called for urgent intervention.

“This year has been an unusual one for us in Buhera South. We were among the first areas in the country to receive rains in November. Some areas have recorded very high rainfall which is not associated with dry areas like Buhera South.

“Most roads are impassable as bridges were swept away. The most affected bridges are Nyadi and Defe. Almost all small bridges on roads that link Muzokomba and Mabhoko, Mutiusinazita and Chapanduka as well as Bhegedhe and Chabata were swept away. Villagers are having nightmares in getting transport.

“The situation is so dire, especially when people want to access health care services or attend funerals. In short, movement of people and goods is now difficult. I implore the Minister of Transport and Infastructural Development, Engineer Joel Matiza, to drive to Buhera to get first hand information on the prevailing situation there. He should not fly, but use the roads. The Murambinda-Birchenough Road has been on the cards for years, with little movement on the ground,” said Hon Chinotimba.

Although Minister Matiza was not reachable for comment at the time of going to Press, Government, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, has allocated $400 million towards the construction of the Murambinda-Birchenough Bridge Road.

Speaking during the commissioning of Marovanyati Dam by President Mnangagwa last month, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri added her voice on the need to speed up the construction of the Murambinda-Birchenough Bridge Road.

“This project has been on the cards for a long time and we call on Government to come to the rescue of the people of Buhera. So many ministers like the late Cde Kumbirai Kangai have spoken on this project but no meaningful progress has been made in implementing it. This road has a lot of economic benefits to Buhera as it will help people transport their produce either to Birchenough Bridge or Murambinda,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.

Meanwhile, a combination of drought and animal diseases is threatening to wipe out Buhera’s cattle herd.

Most families have so far lost between five to 15 beasts this year due to drought and animal diseases.

“Our major economic activities in Buhera are cattle ranching and groundnuts production.

“However, due to perennial droughts and outbreaks of diseases, our herd is being reduced every year. We applaud Government for doing its part in vaccinating the animals, but the situation is dire in some areas.

“Some farmers are losing an entire herd. Because of limited resources, not all farmers are able to buy supplementary feed for their cattle and they end up watching them dying.

“We also want to encourage farmers to de-stock and use the resources they will obtain from selling some of the animals to vaccinate the remaining herd,” said Hon Chinotimba. – Zim Morning Post