Bad roads threaten rural development -

Bad roads threaten rural development

Angry communal farmers, rural business people, and commuter omnibus drivers in Dorset resettlement area of Shurugwi South Constituency have implored road authorities to put collaborated efforts towards revamping road networks in the area which are in a deplorable state.

Patricia Patiwa speaking on behalf of community members during a tour by The Sun News crew called upon the three road authorities namely District Development Fund (DDF), Ministry of Transport and
Infrastructure development and the local authority, Tongogara Rural District Council to urgently address the plea of the community who survive mainly on farming and can’t access hospitals.

“Our road network is so bad and imagine since independence DDF has never come to Dorset, to fix roads which were seriously damaged by recent heavy rains.
We were informed that road repair funds were allocated to the district but sadly, not even a single road was repaired here. We only hear about DDF repairing roads in newspapers and radios,” she said.
Recent heavy rains seriously damaged roads in the area with some parts being cut off from the rest.

Most transport operators have already stopped operating in the area sighting poor roads which are damaging their vehicles.
A displeased transport operator who preferred to be called Mhofu said he is forced to charge four times more than the normal transport fees because of poor roads which are damaging vehicles.

“We wonder why Dorset is being neglected when it comes to improved road network compared to nearby areas like Tongogara where roads are always maintained. Dorset is a farming community and people are failing to ferry their produce to Gweru or nearby towns because of the roads,” said Mhofu.
Never Msinga, a local farmer in Village 7, said the bad state of roads in the constituency has led to poverty and strain development in the area as people are no longer able to sell their produce to outsiders.

 

“We are a farming community, some crops are perishing as we find it difficult to transport them to the market, we find it difficult to commute through our locations to amenities like hospitals and clinics and this has resulted in some lives being lost.
In an interview with a Local Councillor, Dennis Chiborise attributed the extensive damage on the local roads to flash floods that hit the ward early this year. Cllr Chiborise however pinned hope on the devolution funds which he said will be allocated to his ward.

“As you are aware that the government declared a state of disaster to all roads including rural areas. It is my hope that apart from the devolution funds to be channeled towards our road rehabilitation by the local authority, the declaration would facilitate the release of other resources for the repair and rehabilitation of all roads that require such works, he added.

Early this year the government of Zimbabwe promised to mobilize funds for the repair and rehabilitation of roads damaged by flash floods and those abandoned for a long time by local authorities. The roads have become a death trap for the traveling public and a hindrance for development programs in rural area. #Woman in News

By Dumisani Ndlovu (Citizen Journalist)

 

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