ERRP transforms Midlands terrain

20 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
ERRP transforms Midlands terrain The newly-refurbished Mberengwa-West Nicholson road linking Matabeleland South and Midlands provinces

The Chronicle

Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
GOVERNMENT has started rehabilitating a number of roads in the Midlands province among them the Mberengwa-West Nicholson Road, linking Matabeleland South and Midlands provinces.

The road, which will be tarred, is also the shortest route for those intending to travel from Zvishavane and Gweru to Beitbridge and beyond in South Africa.

The distance between Mberengwa and West Nicholson is 98km. Upon completion of the road, commercial trucks and buses in transit to neighbouring Zambia are likely to use the route thus reducing the distance by at least 100km.

Other major roads in the Midlands province are undergoing rehabilitation under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme 2 (ERRP 2). The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) is providing the funds in support of ERRP2.

Some of the roads that have been rehabilitated include the one linking Kwekwe city centre and Amaveni suburb and Gokwe turn off.

Government, through the Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED), took over the rehabilitation of the road after the opposition-run Kwekwe City Council neglected the stretch that had turned into an eyesore for the past five years.

The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development rehabilitated a section of that road stretching for 3KM and it now open for use by motorists.

In Gokwe South, the rehabilitation of Svisvi Shelvert Bridge on Gokwe-Siabuwa Road is underway. Road construction falls under the infrastructure cluster with roads being regarded as key economic enablers in line with Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

NDS1 recognises roads as enhancing the economy and promises that more focus will be on development of new roads and maintenance of the existing ones. Government has so far spent more than a $1 billion on road rehabilitation, gravelling and drainage structuring as part of the Second Republic’s ERRP2 launched by President Mnangagwa early last year.

In an interview yesterday, Midlands provincial roads engineer Denis Mupfurira said the road rehabilitation programme is underway across the in both rural and urban authorities.

The Svisvi Shelvert Bridge in Gokwe South along Gokwe-Siabuwa Road constructed by the Government

“Major roads in the Midlands province have been undergoing rehabilitation with some reopening while more roads are also currently being reconstructed under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme 2,” he said.

Eng Mupfurira said several other roads in the province are either being reconstructed or rehabilitated and some are almost complete.

“Kwekwe city centre — Amaveni road and Gokwe turn off in Kwekwe have been rehabilitated and now open to motorists. We have started constructing two roads in Mberengwa, one links Mberengwa with Mataga while the other one links West Nicholson and Mberengwa,” he said.

“We have done 9KM out of our target of 10km on the road that links West Nicholson and Mberengwa. In Gokwe South the rehabilitation of Svisvi Shelvert Bridge along Gokwe Siabuwa road is underway. Even city roads are also being rehabilitated like what was done in Kwekwe. The same is being done in Gweru,” he said.

The Svisvi Shelvert Bridge in Gokwe South along Gokwe-Siabuwa Road constructed by the Government

The Government took over the rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads in towns and cities after realising that the inept opposition councils were failing or unable to channel funds towards roads rehabilitation.

City roads are supposed to be under the purview of local authorities, but councils have failed to maintain them.

Gweru City Council public relations officer Ms Vimbai Chingwaramusee said the local authority received over $287 million from Government for roads rehabilitation.

Most of the roads in Gweru linking the city centre and suburbs were damaged by heavy rains rendering them untrafficable due to potholes

“We are busy working on rehabilitating the roads by filling potholes from the city centre to the industrial and residential areas and it is work in progress. Our roads were no longer safe and we got funding from the Zimbabwe National Road Administration in excess of $281 million that has gone towards road rehabilitation,” she said.

Gweru City Council spokesperson Ms Vimbai Chingwaramusee

Mberengwa North MP Cde Tafanana Zhou said the Mberengwa-West Nicholson Road is of major economic significance for both Matabeleland South and Midlands provinces.

“Mberengwa-West Nicholson Road is the shortest route linking Gweru and Beitbridge. The distance between Mberengwa and West Nicholson is 98KM and therefore once completed, haulage trucks and buses going to Zambia are likely to use the route and cut on the distance,” he said.

“We are happy that the Second Republic is availing funds to improve the road network in Mberengwa.”

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