Effective and sustainable road maintenance systems in Africa are a rare commodity for a range of funding, institutional, economic, technological and management reasons. However the Zimbabwe District Development Fund routine maintenance system for 25,000 km of gravel all-weather feeder roads demonstrates that by identifying and tackling the range of considerable challenges, a low-cost (US$ 260/km/year equivalent) and effective system can be established. The application of tractor and labour technology in a framework of well-justified, regular funding, and efficient and focused management has achieved a methodology which could have lessons for the managers of other national, regional and private road networks.
This paper is based on the 10 November 1999 presentation to the joint meeting of the Appropriate Development Panel of the Institution of Civil Engineers, The Institution of Agricultural Engineers and the Tropical Agriculture Association in London.
LCS Working Paper No. 5: a tractor and labour based routine maintenance system for unpaved rural roads.