BY PATRICIA SIBNDA
CONSTRUCTION of Gonde River Bridge in Matabeleland South province is now underway after government allocated $1,5 million for the project which links Kezi and Matobo districts.
DDF Matabeleland South provincial co-ordinator Moment Malandu yesterday told Southern Eye that work on the bridge started in August this year.
“We are currently working on Gonde Bridge, of which we began the works in August of this year. The bridge is budgeted at $1,5 million and we want to finish it soon before heavy rains begin,” Malandu said.
The DDF boss said they decided to construct the bridge to enable villagers easy access to Kezi and Matobo even during the rainy season.
“It connects the villagers on the other side to the main road. It also helps schoolchildren to cross and go to school easily during the wet season. Patients going to the clinic will also benefit,” he said.
Malandu said the bridge was funded by government under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2 (ERRP2), adding that work was expected to be completed by year end.
Early this year, DDF in Matabeleland South province intensified road rehabilitation works after it was given $40 million by government out of the nearly $230 million it had requested for the road project.
The programme is targeting all roads and bridges that were damaged by floods.
Government has since released part of the funds.
DDF is targeting 179km in Beitbridge, Umzingwane (63km), Gwanda (109km), Insiza (136km), Matobo (119km), Bulilima (127km) and Mangwe (75km).
Malandu said the major challenge they faced was frequent breakdown of construction equipment.
He said outstanding work included spot gravelling, regrading, reshaping, working on culverts, piped drifts and construction of destroyed bridges, which had, however, been slowed down by lack of funding and graders.
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