By Staff Reporter
FARMERS in Silobela are failing to access markets due to a poor road network in the constituency.
Speaking during the commissioning of the Exchange Irrigation Scheme in Silobela recently, the scheme’s vice-chairperson Patrick Chipoka said while farmers appreciate the rehabilitation of the irrigation scheme which had collapsed many years ago, it is the state of roads which is giving farmers a headache.
“Our main plea is on the poor road infrastructure in this constituency. While the rehabilitation of the irrigation scheme is a welcome idea, as it means that we are going to have production, the state of the roads which is worrisome for us. We might have good produce here at the scheme but without proper roads it means our efforts will end up being in vain. With the current poor state of the road we are failing to access markets. Our plea to government is for them to consider this deplorable road for rehabilitation,’ he said.
Silobela MP Mthokozisa Manoki Mpofu has on several occasions called for government to rehabilitate the Kwekwe-Nkayi Road.
Silobela is about 60km from Kwekwe, but due to the poor state of roads it takes one an average of two hours to travel the distance.
“The issue of poor roads has always been a pain in my heart. We have been making calls to government to have them rehabilitate the Kwekwe-Nkayi Road. The rehabilitation of the road will see development coming to Silobela. This road is very strategic as it connects Silobela to Nkayi and Kwekwe amongst other areas. The road goes as far as Victoria Fall,” Mpofu said.
He added that mining companies operating in the area must also give back to the community and develop the area.
“These big mining companies must make it a policy to always give back to the Silobela community. It is not fair that they siphon minerals from Silobela but when it comes to road rehabilitation, they don’t come to the party. Their trucks also contribute to this situation,” he said.
The Ministry of Transport has in the past made promises to rehabilitate the roads but nothing has been done to date.