Makuti-Chirundu highway deal to create 250 jobs

Makuti-Chirundu highway deal to create 250 jobs
Published: 05 July 2018
A DEAL signed by Zimbabwe and Japan last week to improve steep gradients on the Makuti-Chirundu section of the north-south corridor will create 250 jobs, according to a statement by the Ministry of Finance.

The project, which kicks off later this year, is expected to be completed in 2021, according to the statement, which said Japan will extend a $21 million grant to see the project through and curb road accidents on one of the most dangerous stretches of the transnational highway.

Government hopes to use the Makuti-Chirundu project as a template for revamping all steep sections of the country's highways.

"The Government of Japan has extended grant aid of approximately $21 million to Zimbabwe for a road construction project … through this project, over 250 road workers and other staff will be employed," the ministry said on Thursday, adding that there had been numerous accidents on the Makuti-Chirundu stretch of the transnational highway, and it was imperative for government to act to avert further deaths.

"The 6,5 kilometre section of the road has large volumes of traffic, including heavy trucks transporting goods across the border at Chirundu to Zambia and beyond, as well as visitors on their way to and from tourist attractions such as Kariba. There is a high accident rate on this section and, in 2016, 110 accidents were recorded along this stretch," the statement said.

A seamless highway is critical for the economic development of Zimbabwe, which has promised to give priority to infrastructure projects to stimulate recovery.

The statement said the project will involve construction of climbing lanes and improvement of the horizontal/or vertical alignments.

Sharp bends on the highway will be worked on to improve traffic flow, the Ministry of Finance noted.

"The safer design of this section of the road means that the number of accidents is expected to decrease to under 20 per year. The new road will also allow the transportation of a greater volume of goods along the north-south corridor, Zimbabwe's most important highway, thereby contributing to the country's economic development," the statement added.

Zimbabwe and Japan have previously cooperated in the construction of the new Chirundu bridge from 1998 to 2002.

The two countries also cooperated in the establishment of the one- stop border post at Chirundu, the first such project in Africa.
- fingaz
Tags: Highway,


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