HARARE – Harare’s potholed roads could be rehabilitated if Harare City Council (HCC) signs an agreement with a Chinese firm Sinohydro Corporation Limited.
HCC’s director of works Phillip Pfukwa told the environmental management committee that Sinohydro had already submitted their expression of interest in the rehabilitation of the city’s roads as well as treatment of water at Lake Chivero.
This comes as roads in the capital city were declared a national disaster due to their sorry state exacerbated by heavy rains.
“Sinohydro Corporation Limited had approached Harare City Council with a proposal for the rehabilitation and dualisation of Harare roads. Sinohydro is one of the largest State-owned companies in Beijing, China which has undertaken major construction works internationally including Zimbabwe,” he said.
Pfukwa added that once a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Sinohydro and the town’s acting town clerk Josephine Ncube, feasibility studies would be conducted as to whether the project can be undertaken and also at what cost.
Pfukwa also disclosed that Sinohydro had also approached council with a proposal to also conduct a feasibility study on environmental management of Lake Chivero.
According to Pfukwa, the project would also include a water treatment exercise of the highly contaminated lake.
“They (Sinohydro) also came in with a proposal for the Lake Chivero Water Environmental Management and Treatment project,” he said.
This year Zinara allocated $1,2 million to HCC for road maintenance, however, council argued that the money was not adequate for the repair of the city’s 7 000 kilometres stretch of roads.
In environmental management committee minutes, councillors argued that Harare roads had not had any meaningful routine maintenance in the last 15 years and the recent heavy rains had left the roads in a bad state.
“Harare City Council expected no less than $15 million for the 2017 allocation, considering the state of the roads, this was the minimum council would expect from Zinara,” the minutes read.
HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme said the city could not ascertain how much was owed as Zinara dictates their disbursements to the local authority.
“We do not have any say on how much we receive because Zinara only tells us what they will give. However the city needs $800 million to fix the road network,” Chideme said.