WHEN water from the Zambezi River was trapped to create the Kariba Dam in the late 1950s, many people in Binga were displaced.
Most were bitter. The electricity generated by the project bypassed them and due to lack of opportunities, the luxury that comes with the tourist attractions eluded them and their new homes were on unforgiving terrain.
The roads in Binga have been in a sorry state such that even though the district boasts of five-star lodges dotted along the Zambezi River and Kariba Dam, few can endure the bumpy ride.
However, thanks to the devolution concept ushered in by the Second Republic under President Mnangagwa, Binga is no longer a forgotten area.
A number of projects are underway.
Binga Rural District Council this year received $12,15 million in devolution funds to kickstart development projects.
The council’s chief executive Mr Joshua Muzamba told Chronicle that they have been receiving the devolution funds since 2019.
“In 2019 we received $5,9 million, in 2020 we received $3,3 million and finally this year we received $12,15 million.
The received funds have been channelled towards the implementation of major capital projects which include construction of staff houses at Sinamunsanga, Zambezi and Malaliya clinics as well as Chipondo Primary School.
Besides that, we have also done sewer reticulation, and dumpsite fencing,” said Mr Muzamba
The CEO said they will be rehabilitating some clinics with procurement of furniture for Chipale Clinic now done.
He said they have used part of the devolution funds to build staff houses at Chibondo Primary School and repair roofs which were blown by wind at Muchesu and Mulindi primary schools.
“At Chipale Primary School we have procured furniture. We have also done construction of staff houses, plastering, roofing and painting of one classroom block at Chibondo Primary School. Besides that, we have also repaired nine roofs that were blown by wind at Muchesu and Mulindi primary schools,” said Mr Muzamba.
He said incomplete projects include the construction of two staff houses, clinic block, perimeter fencing, ablutions, and incinerators at Zambezi, Sinamunsanga and Malaliya clinics.
“Malaliya Clinic is 90 percent complete and we are expecting to be done with it by the end of this month. This will be followed by Sinamunsanga Clinic which is 65 percent complete and we hope to be done with it by December this year. Zambezi Clinic is at 35 percent of completion and we hope to be done with it in January next year,” said Mr Muzamba.
He said the council was set to take delivery of a tipper truck they bought.
Mr Muzamba hailed the Government’s decision to disburse devolution funds and said the projects being done in Binga are changing people’s livelihoods.
He said the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) has resulted in the council doing a number of roads which include Nsungwale, Siansundu Business Centre and Nakaluba roads. “At Nsungwale Road, ERRP has taken over and we shall be doing motorised grading and spot gravelling. So far, we are attending the first 4,5 kms while at Lusulu high density we have Siansundu Road where we will be doing drain lining, spot gravelling as well gabion construction. We also have Nakaluba Road where we shall be clearing vegetation, culvert construction and regravelling,” said Mr Muzamba.
He said they will also do low density roads – Mlibizi Harbour and Mabobolo roads.
The Council has also purchased a tipper truck and is awaiting delivery.
The 154km Binga-Cross Dete Road, which connects to the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Highway is also being rehabilitated.
Government is also in the process of building homes for Binga flood victims.
In 2020, Nsungwale area of Binga District in Matabeleland North experienced heavy rains which left many people stranded, but there is now hope for them, thanks to Government efforts.
Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Daniel Garwe said the tendering process to construct the houses closed yesterday.
“The Binga housing delivery project for flood victims is now at tendering stage. The tender is closing on September 30, 2021. Thereafter, preliminary works to commence the construction process will prevail,” he said.
The minister said the houses are going to be built in the Nsungwale area, the place where heavy rains were experienced. The Minister said all the 37 units will be three-roomed.
“37 by three-roomed houses will be constructed at Nsungwale area. The budget estimates will be provided after the tendering process,” said Minister Garwe.