BY RICHARD MUPONDE
The District Development Fund (DDF) is upgrading the 11km road leading to the Bulawayo Kraal irrigation scheme in Binga to enhance farming activities at the government-sponsored community project.
This comes two months after Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Justin Mupamhanga called for a holistic approach in implementation of the Bulawayo Kraal irrigation scheme because the project was a low hanging fruit capable of transforming the district into an economic greenbelt.
Mupamhanga had toured the irrigation scheme after it failed to make meaningful contribution to the community.
Located about 30km from Binga centre, the project has been failing to take off since 2004 owing to a myriad of challenges, among them pipe leakages.
However, there has been progress after DDF came in to rehabilitate the access road.
DDF acting director for roads Goodwell Mapako confirmed that they were upgrading the road.
“We are currently working on the stretch of the road which we are grading and gravelling. We are also in the process of building culverts and drainages. As I speak, work is in progress at Bulawayo Kraal which will soon be completed before the onset of the rains,” Mapako said.
The irrigation scheme is viewed as the panacea to food challenges in the drought-prone Binga district.
DDF, the government department, which falls directly under the Office of the President, has also lined up many projects in the region that include construction of new bridges and roads as well as the rehabilitation of old ones.
Roads to be rehabilitated in Matabeleland North and South provinces include the 300km stretch of the Karoi-Binga Road which is being tarred.
In Plumtree, DDF is constructing the Simukwe-Mabonyane and Mambale roads, Lutumba-Bulawayo road in Beitbridge, Mtshingwe Road in Insiza and the Kezi Mbembeswana-Marinoha Hill Road in Kezi, among many other feeder roads.