BULAWAYO, April 26 (The Source) — Government has so far raised and disbursed $45 million out of $200 million required to rehabilitate road infrastructure that was hugely damaged by Cyclone Dineo, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Wednesday.
Giving his keynote address at the Zimbabwe International Business Conference held in Bulawayo concurrently with the on-going Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, Mnangagwa said only $45 million has been disbursed for the road rehabilitation programme to date.
“While we are happy about the good rains and the anticipated harvest this year, the resultant floods experienced during the 2016/17 agricultural season brought with them, extensive damage to roads and other social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, forcing communities in some affected areas to be displaced,” Mnangagwa said.
“Resultantly, over $200 million is required to rehabilitate flood damaged infrastructure to bring it back into service. Already, some $45 million has been disbursed towards the rehabilitation of roads,” he said.
Furthermore, working through the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara), Mnangagwa said government was assisting local authorities to rehabilitate all trunk roads.
Such repairs to road infrastructure will, thus, facilitate the transportation of harvests from different farming areas of the country, to the Grain Marketing Board depots and other agro-processing companies, to support industry, he said.
He said government is undertaking the Road and Bridges Rehabilitation Programme.
Cyclone Dineo left some of the country’s major highways impassable especially in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
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.
The fair, which will run to Saturday under the theme: “Harnessing Linkages for Industrial Development” will be officially opened by Namibian President Hage Geingob on Friday.