BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
INCESSANT rains have swept away Bubi Bridge which links Chiredzi South with Beitbridge, while roads that lead to Chiredzi town are impassable due to the constant flooding of Runde River.
Heavy rainfall has left the whole of Chiredzi South constituency isolated from the rest of the district.
Resultantly, people from Chiredzi South have been cut off and cannot access services either from Beitbridge or Chiredzi.
The constituency is in the middle of Limpopo, Runde, Sengwe and Bubi rivers.
Another bridge across Runde River, which used to link Gonarezhou National Park with Chipinda communal lands was swept away by Cyclone Eline in 2000 and is yet to be
Chiredzi South MP Kalisto Gwanetsa yesterday told NewsDay that people were forced to use alternative routes which are 500 kilometres longer in order to access medical services in Chiredzi town.
“If someone is involved in an accident or any other mishap that needs urgent medical assistance, the chances are high that they will never reach any hospital while still alive,” Gwanetsa said.
“Bridges around this area were either swept away or the flooded rivers make them impassable, mostly during the rainy season. The Gonarezhou-Chipinda Bridge was not a permanent structure because it was hastily built during the Rhodesian era to enable soldiers to cross into Chiredzi South, then called Nuanetsi district,” he said.
Gwanetsa said Chilonga shopping centre was only 22 kilometres away from Chiredzi town, but after the flooding, people have to travel 400 kilometres to reach it.
“Lives have been lost every year as people try to cross the flooded river using home-made canoes or are attacked by hippos. Several vehicles have also been swept away at Chilonga Bridge,” the MP said.
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