THE refurbishment of the Mwanezi dam-bridge in Mberengwa West is progressing well with the government confident the project will be completed before the rainy season. The bridge is being constructed by the District Development Fund (DDF) as part of government efforts to address the plight of marginalised communities. The infrastructure has a dam wall fitted with a spillway with a bridge at the top to facilitate the smooth passage of human and road traffic.
Government is confident the infrastructure will be completed within the targeted timeframe. “We are running around to ensure that the infrastructure is completed by end of November or early December latest. These are the projects we feel will have an impact on society. Enough funding has been availed but we have a slight glitch with NOCZIM which is giving us a cap of 2000 litres a week and this is slowing progress as sometimes work is slowed down but otherwise, everything else is going smoothly,” said Christopher Shumba, DDF Permanent Secretary.
The project has had massive buy-in from the community which has come on board on a voluntary basis amid indications that there will be a massive fisheries project once the construction is complete.
“We have had some sad experiences in the past where some school children have drowned as they tried to cross the flooded river. Children would also go for two weeks without going to school especially during the rainy season. We are saying the bridge will help us especially this side of the river,” said one villager.
“The idea of constructing a dam at the site could not have come at a better time. Now we are looking forward to having gardening and improve our livelihoods. We can now also easily travel and not have transport worries to Phoenix. We want to thank the government for the initiative,” said another villager.
“We can now access the nearest health facility without a hustle. We are also told that we will get to have a fisheries project. We look forward to having a good relish and have a surplus for selling as well. It’s indeed a step in the right direction,” echored another villager.
The Mwanezi dam bridge connects Chizungu and Keyara communities while it is also the closest and most reliable route to Mberengwa Centre. It is one of the many projects being implemented by the second republic in an attempt to uplift the livelihoods of marginalised communities in line with the government’s economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1.