The District Development Fund (DDF) has commenced road construction in and around the multi-million dollar Bulawayo Kraal Irrigation Scheme in Binga, estimated to cost one million dollars, as government steps up efforts to kick start full scale production at the project.

After mobilising the necessary equipment which includes bulldozers, motorised graders, front-end loaders and tippers, the DDF is now upgrading the access roads and constructing the 10 km road from the project to the pumping station.

DDF Acting Director in Charge of Roads, Mr Goodwell Mapako said the department is targeting mid-June to complete the task.

“We have managed to mobilise the necessary equipment and work has already started. The scope of work includes the upgrading of access roads and the 10 km stretch from the scheme to the main pumping station,” said Mr Mapako.

As part of the on-going works, DDF will also construct a 2km road connecting the project to the Manjolo-Siyabuwa road, as well as drainage structures along the roads.

Bulawayo Kraal Irrigation Scheme Chairman, Mr Taitos Mukuli said the upgrading of the roads will not only support the movement of inputs to the scheme as well as produce to the markets, but will also support other industries such as tourism.

“The ongoing works are a clear testimony of the seriousness that the government is attaching to the project and we are alive to the fact that the upgrading of the roads will go a long way in promoting commerce in Binga,” said Mr Mukuli.

The project’s resuscitation is part of the government’s efforts to achieve inclusive economic growth by ensuring that no community is left behind in terms of development.

The irrigation project will see the production of wheat, maize, cotton and citrus fruits.

Plans are also in place to include livestock management and setting up of value addition factories to create more jobs and ensure export-led economic growth.