BULAWAYO, February 28 (The Source) – Transport and Infrastructural Development minister, Joram Gumbo, says his ministry is raising $80 million for immediate road repairs after Cyclone Dineo left some of the country’s major highways impassable.
Although the cyclone had been downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it hit Zimbabwe earlier this month, it still left a trail of destruction.
“I don’t even know where to start because it’s bad everywhere. It’s actually disastrous. Roads and bridges throughout the country have been destroyed,”Gumbo told The Source by telephone.
“The problem is that with the rains, we can’t even construct a road. As such, it makes our work very difficult. I am currently in the process of mobilising resources for the rebuilding of the roads and bridges. From the Ministry of Finance we need $30 million and $50 million from the banks as loans through Zinara. I am also engaging other companies in the construction sector to also chip in.”
He said the situation has been already declared a national disaster by President Robert Mugabe.
The storm has caused widespread destruction in the country especially in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, leaving a majority of areas inaccessible by road.
Most of the country’s major roads were constructed before independence from colonial rule in 1980 and are past their lifespan.
The country has an estimated total road network of 95,000 km, most of which requires extensive rehabilitation.
Government already has a national road development and rehabilitation programme which requires $5 billion over the next 10 years.