Byo residents fume over poor state of roads

Bulawayo residents are fuming over the poor state of roads in the city, demanding that the council should take a more active role in selecting roads to be prioritised.

The government, through its Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) has been attending to some of the roads in the city including Masiyephambili Drive.

Residents who spoke to CITE have however expressed their disappointment with the manner in which the roads rehabilitated were selected as they feel better roads have been prioritised over those in a worse condition.

Bulawayo City Council (BCC) on Monday announced that about 75% of the road network in the city was in a poor state and about US$700 million was needed to complete the rehabilitation process.

Just like any other local authority BCC is not receiving adequate funding from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA).

A resident from Waterford, Nozibusiso Sivalo, said it was regrettable that some attempts to rehabilitate the 12 Avenue extension late last year did not yield positive results as potholes were reopened by rains.

Sivalo added that she did not understand why contractors kept returning to roads already in good condition leaving those that were impassable unattended.

Residents in Nkulumane suburb raised a concern on the quality of substandard material used to patch potholes suggesting  that durable material that withstand varying weather conditions should instead be used.

Another resident, Armstrong Sibanda, said the government was failing to use the resources that the country has to develop cities and towns through infrastructural development projects.

Freedom Kazimbe, another resident, said the council was doing a better job before ZINARA began to administer the roads fund.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) executive chairperson, Ambrose Sibindi, said the current state of roads was “terrible” and a major setback on other service delivery areas such as health, with ambulances taking too long to reach some suburbs.

Coordinator of Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) emphasized the need for the government to fully implement the devolution of power so that local authorities may be able to raise funds required for fixing the roads in their areas.

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