Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe is a sprawling conglomerate, covering an area of 830km2. It has a population of approximately 1.6 million people (Projection of 2002 Population by Central Statistical Office (CSO)). About 800 000 vehicles ply its 4 000km road network daily. All this traffic is carried on the streets of Harare in the form of motorists and pedestrians. Administratively it is now part of the Harare Metropolis, which incorporates other municipalities of Chitungwiza, Ruwa, Norton and Epworth.
Harare is also the industrial and commercial hub of the nation. Besides being the city of governance, most companies, listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, have their headquarters here. Most of the major trunk roads to neighbouring SADC states originate from the Central Business District (CBD).
The heavy freight trucks plying these routes have created serious road infrastructure repair and maintenance challenges. The situation has been exacerbated by the decline, in real terms, of the capital and maintenance budgets during the past 15 years. For instance, no significant replacement of construction equipment has occurred since the 1994 World Bank Funded programme.
- The Division’s core functions are:
- Design and construction of roads, bridges, storm water drainage plus other associated infrastructure.
- Repair and maintenance of the roads infrastructure.
- Approval and monitoring of private sector initiated projects.
- Undertaking income generating projects.
- Seeking joint- venture partnerships to enhance service delivery.
Lack of capital funds has resulted in the erosion of the City’s internal capacity to undertake remedial action. Such corrective measures can come in any of the forms listed below, depending on the severity of the pavement distress:
- Complete pavement reconstruction;
- Partial reconstruction involving the strengthening of existing pavement layers, with or without stabilisation, before surfacing;
- Asphaltic or granular overlays;
- Surfacing rejuvenation (for example spray & chip surface dressing; slurry seal); and
- Improvement or provision of drainage facilities.
The Division is stepping up efforts in providing a pothole free road network. Efforts are being made to get funding from the corporate world as well as international donors and loans.