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Road infrastructure projects give new life to Manicaland province

Road infrastructure projects give new life to Manicaland province

Story by John Nhandara

MORE than 400 kilometres of the road network in Manicaland Province has been rehabilitated under various government programmes, including the Post Cyclone Idai Recovery and Resilience Programme.

The government and other implementing partners have made huge strides in giving a facelift to road infrastructure in the province, most of which was destroyed by the Cyclone Idai disaster in 2019.

Some of the key projects include the construction of Nyahodi Number 4 Bridge and the 17-kilometre Machongwe-Rusitu Road which connects Chimanimani and Rusitu.

United Nations Officer for Project Services project Manager, Engineer Onai Baudi said, “In terms of the impact this bridge connects Chimanimani and Rusitu and gives you access to essential services like Rusitu Mission Hospital. The bridge is a twin-b concrete structure with a design life span of 50 years. We have also upgraded the Machongwe-Rusitu road from the existing gravel road to a fully surfaced road. The road has a life span of 20 years.”

Construction of the bridge and roads in the province has come as a relief to motorists and farmers in Chimanimani and Chipinge districts who mainly depend on trading horticulture products.

“We were finding it difficult to cross the bridge to go to Chimanimani to sell our produce,” said one of the farmers.

“This small bridge would be flooded and we could not pass through with our small cars,” a motorist added.

Provincial Roads Engineer for Manicaland Engineer Kudzai Maganga gave a scope of other completed and ongoing road construction projects in the province.

“In this infrastructure recovery plan, we have managed to recover a lot of infrastructure through the Zimbabwe post-Idai recovery programme. For example, Wengezi-Skyline, Skyline to Chimanimani, Charter to Machongwe, Kopa Jopa, Machongwe- Rusitu, Marange Zvipiripiri and Birchenough to Chipinge road and these were wholly funded by the Government. Here in Chimanimani, we have this project which is an AFDB-funded project that was implemented by UNOPS,” said engineer Maganga.

The 2019 Cyclone Idai disaster left a trail of destruction in Manicaland province where road infrastructure, including bridges, were destroyed, with Chimanimani and Chipinge being the most affected districts.

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