Underfunding disables DDF

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A senior District Development Fund (DDF) official last week said the government department had failed to maintain most rural roads because of severe underfunding.

Edmore Sinadima, DDF’s area manager for Masvingo-Chivi roads said: “We got only $30 000 from the government to service all roads in the province and clearly, the funds are insufficient.”

Sinandima said the DDF was required to service a 4 000km rural road network, but lack of funds hampered the project.

He said about $900 was needed per kilometre, meaning that they needed at least $3,6 million for rural roads in Masvingo.

“We got only $30 000 from the government, leaving us with that shortfall, but we are trying our best. Currently, we are servicing roads in all the districts of Masvingo province,” he said.

Sinandima said DDF borrowed tractors from other government departments as most of its fleet was grounded. Most bus operators have pulled out of the province’s rural routes citing impassable roads.

Philip Chikukwa, councillor for Ngomahuru said cotton farmers in Chishawasha and Gunikuni had difficulties transporting their produce because of poor roads. “There are few transport operators because the roads are impassable,” said Chikukwa.

The DDF was established at independence to coordinate reconstruction of infrastructure.