'Filling potholes with soil worsening road conditions'

Environmentalists in Mutare have raised a red flag over the use of loose soil to fill potholes arguing that it was worsening the conditions of roads by choking drains and increasing road surface run-off.

Moses Chimedza, a local environmentalist and director of Sustainable Environmental Conservation Trust (Sect) said the practice was not only costly due to its lack of permanence but that it was corroding the eastern border city’s already dilapidated road infrastructure. 

“Come to think of it, how much is put into the frequent repairs they do using gravel? Why not do something permanent using tar which will allow them to take longer before revisiting the same spots? The use of gravel may appear cheaper but cumulatively the costs surpass application of tarmac.”
Mutare mayor Blessing Tandi, while acknowledging that soil filling of potholes was not ideal, said the high cost of tar was not giving the local authorities any options. 
“I don’t think we have any other alternatives. The option of filling with sand only came up as a result that bitumen is expensive and time consuming in terms of repairing these roads. So gravel is a quicker way to do it.”