By Promise Dube
People in Jahana, Gokwe have raised concerns over the poor roads in the area which they said impedes growth in the district as it prevents access to social services.
Concerned citizens who spoke to CITE said the Gokwe to Jahana Road has not been rehabilitated for almost two decades making it difficult to transport both people and goods.
“Our road has been neglected for 20 years or so, yet it is the only road that connects Jahana people to other places. People in the community have been deprived of their right to access services through quality roads,” said one of the villagers.
According to villagers, motorists hardly use the roads during the rainy season and people will be forced to walk long distances because of muddy roads that would be impassable.
“The road is too muddy during the rainy season and people end up walking more than 30 kilometres to access social services at Gokwe center,” a villager said.
The concerned villagers further stated the poor roads had negative ripple effects to people including businesses.
“Retail shops in the following centers -Nhongo, Insukamini, Satengwe, Bhejane and Jahana shops are affected as sometimes consumers fail to buy from wholesalers because of the poor roads,” said the locals.
Villagers claimed government departments such as health, schools were difficult to access while police could also not police the area well as they were not mobile.
“As a result, it is difficult for government departments to be supervised in our area, hence service delivery is affected. Imagine a heavily pregnant mother walking to the nearest hospital,” locals said.
“Farmers are also affected because it is hard to bring in inputs yet delivery of inputs is needed more during the rainy season.”
Reached for comment, Ward 17 Councilor Sitshengisiwe Gagwi Dube confirmed that the Gokwe to Jahana Road needed urgent repair.
“What the villagers are saying is true. Yes, the road has been neglected for over 20 years because of the government’s economic problems,” she said.
“During the rainy season, it becomes muddy and vehicles are stuck. Government departments like health and schools are affected as for health.”
The councillor bemoaned that the road made it difficult for locals to access health services on time.
“People lose their lives due to delays because no vehicle can cross the muddy road going to the clinic or general hospital,” Dube said, adding that she has had her own horrifying experiences with that road.
“I lost my uterus while giving birth in 2002 because I did not receive treatment in time. The MPs have made fruitless promises about rehabilitating the road. They make promises but never fulfill them.”