By Shongedzai Mugwagwa
Bikita District in Masvingo Province which recorded four deaths during the tropical cyclone has its road network system extensively damaged.
The Harare Post established during a recent tour of the district to assess the extent of damage caused by Cyclone Idai.
From Nyika-Mutare road, there is Mbuyanehanda road which was seriously ravaged by cyclone Idai. The road is a main feeder which cuts across Devure resettlement area.
In an interview, DDF Masvingo Provincial Coordinator, Mr Marasa Hamudi Gutukunhuwa said that the road which cuts across and connects the Bikita and Zaka district was ravaged badly.
He added that the road needs to be constructed afresh as it cuts across many rivers and streams.
“As DDF, our structures were ravaged badly in this district and we are in the process of constructing new piped drifts and culverts. To avoid future infrastructure decimation, we are going to make sure that our approaches are made stronger,” he said.
DDF Provincial Road Manager, Mr Paul Urunga took a stock of the decimated infrastructure in Bikita district, revealing that they lost eight piped bridges, 14 culverts and a 40km stretch of the road to Cyclone Idai.
He added that they are in the process of constructing new structures from scratch and that so far they had erected makeshifts crossing points so as to make sure that the district is accessible.
Mr Gutukunhuwa said that the flooded Musaizi River washed away two bridges and up to date, they were citing new points to construct new bridges.
He added that DDF technicians are busy surveying new sites which do not have a shaking standing that will pose a new threat to their structures in case of future disasters of the same magnitude.
DDF has embraced well the concept of public works in their construction sites as they are employing locals.
Mr Urunga said that this helped locals to have an attachment to the development that took place in their area. He also added that it instills a sense of responsibility.
In all the construction sites, women were taken aboard. Some could be seen mixing cement, building stonework and others pushing wheelbarrows.
Further down in the district, DDF is reforming the 29 kilometer Mushanduri-Baradzanwa road. The road was ravaged by the tropical cyclone but DDF’s timely intervention has restored accessibility of the district.
DDF is not only limited to roads and bridges but also providing safe water, building schools, clinics, providing fuel and aircraft services.