Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Joram Gumbo has hinted that government urgently needs US$100 million to resuscitate the country’s dilapidated road network worsened by incessant rains recorded throughout the country this year.
Addressing journalists in Harare on Wednesday, Gumbo said most roads in the country have become impassable while several bridges have been washed away especially in the southern parts of the country where the rains hit hard.
“The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has to date raised US$14,5 million of the US$100 million that is required for the emergency road repair program, and this money is being availed to all road authorities, Department of Roads, Urban Councils, District Development Fund and Rural District Council,” said Gumbo.
He added that an inter-ministerial committee has been set up to mobilize resources for the urgent repair of roads destroyed by floods that hit parts of the country.
“The committee, comprised of officials from key government departments including the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure development, is expected to come up with a strategy on how the road repair programme will be executed including sourcing financial resources.”
Some of the affected structures include Nkankezi Bridge along Zvishavane-Mbalabala road in Matebeleland South, Jeka Bridge along Danga- Dolo road and Mwenezi Bridge along Mberengwa – West Nicholson road in the Midlands Province as well as Nyanga -Chiso road in Manicaland province
The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA) is also in the process of sourcing funds amid indications that they are set to get a $50 million loan facility to be channeled towards the repairs of strategic routes in Harare.
According to Gumbo, road repairs will be done and funded in three stages namely emergence works, preventive works and rehabilitation or reconstruction work.
He added that road authorities have commenced work on the emergence works which is the first phase.
Early this year, government declared roads in the country as national disaster following heavy rains which pounded most parts of the country since the onset of the rain season.
Speaking after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Saviour Kasukuwere confirmed the declaration saying several modalities are being put in place to mobilize funds for flood victims and infrastructure repairs.