Residents of Chimanimani have welcomed the recently-introduced ZUPCO buses saying they will address transport challenges that were being faced in the aftermath of the Cyclone Idai disaster.

The Cyclone Idai disaster resulted in yet another challenge for Chimanimani residents as the destruction of roads and bridges left them very no option but to rely on private transport operators who were charging fares beyond the reach of many.

However, the fast-track completion of some of the major roads in the area has seen a huge improvement in the transport situation with government introducing ZUPCO buses that are now plying local routes.

“Tanga tarumbirwa nge transport. Road ranga rakuvara saka kwanga kusingauye chero chii zvacho.”(because of the bad state of roads, transport operators were shunning the route), said one chimanimani resident.

“Tototenda hurumende nebasa rakadai rekutipa ZUPCO nekuti kutoenda kwaMutare chaiko waitozeza” (we thank the government because we could not even go to Mutare), said another.

“Kuuya kwema bhazi aya kwatidakadza. Kubva pa cyclone taingokwira zvipipipi tichidhurirwa” (we are very happy with the coming of Zupco buses, other transport operators were ripping us off), explained another.

Chimanimani East Legislator, Joshua Sacco thanked government for its continued support in his constituency, noting that various developmental projects are currently being rolled out across the district.

“Ndine mufaro mukuru nezvishandwa zvakasiyana siyana zvikuitika muno mu Chimanimani. Mabhazi e Zupco aya achabatsira chose nekuti ino yainetsa transport kunyanya after Cyclone Idai sezvo migwagwa nemabhiriji akawanda akanga akayeredzwa nemvura” ( we have so much happiness, a number of developmental projects are being done and transport had become a problem because of the destruction of roads and bridges after Cyclone Idai), said Sacco.

Meanwhile, the rehabilitation of key infrastructure such as roads and bridges has brought relief to the Chimanimani community in particular farmers who now have a reliable source of transport to take their goods to the market.

Over US$4 billion is needed to help Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe recover from the devastating effects of Cyclones Idai that hit the three southern African nations earlier this year.

Of the $4bn, Mozambique, which suffered the most from the two cyclones, needs $3.2 billion for its reconstruction efforts while Malawi requires $370 million and Zimbabwe between $600 and $700 million.