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Poor road network hampers relief effort

The poor state of roads in Siakobvu, Kariba is hampering food relief programmes in the area, prompting government to use boats on Lake Kariba to reach out to hunger-stricken villagers.

By Moses Mugugunyeki


Kariba district administrator Amigo Mhlanga said relief food was failing to reach some communities in Siakobvu due to the appalling state of roads.

“The heat wave affected most of our crops in the district. Although it rained recently, the damage was already done,” said Mhlanga.

“We are receiving 85 tonnes of maize every month through government food relief programme, but the challenge is reaching the communities.”

Mhlanga bemoaned the poor state of roads in Siakobvu, situated about 270km west of Karoi town.

“Our roads are poor and we are failing to reach communities. However, we managed to engage partners like Padenga who are helping us to ferry the maize on boats on Lake Kariba to Chalala Camp,” he said.

“It is better to have trucks offloading maize here in Kariba and transport the commodity on boats to some communities, which are not accessible by road.”

In the past, trucks from Harare used to offload maize in Karoi and it would take close to a week for the maize to reach communities in Siakobvu by road due to the deplorable state of the roads.

The district administrator said close to 30 000 villagers in Siakobvu were facing starvation.

A worker with a non-governmental organisation operating in the area said most villagers were surviving on wild fruits, while those living close to the lake were surviving on fish alone.

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