One thing that you will be hard pressed to not find on the streets of Harare are potholes. Some roads are good with only one or two potholes here and there whilst others are really bad to the point where no matter what you do, you wont be able to avoid them (click on images for larger view).
When looking at and thinking about the state of the roads the notion of thinking about where to start fixing them is overwhelming! Surprisingly enough though, earlier in the year, it looked like strides were being made to get the roads back to an acceptable and safe standard. After driving down roads on a regular basis, you get to know where all the potholes are and how to avoid them but some potholes on various roads were being filled in with tar and the funny thing is that it felt odd to be driving down them and not have to play the game of dodging potholes.
Before then, some people took it upon themselves to try and improve the conditions of certain stretches of road by filling the potholes with concrete or ruble. This was only probably being done because it may have been the road that they live on or use on a regular basis and have a vested interest in the longevity of their vehicles. People who have been unlucky enough to hit a pothole hard enough have come off second best with two flat tyres, cracked rims, cracked suspensions and the list goes on.
Some people have gone as far as trying to capitalize on the situation to try and make a few dollars. One such scenario was when two men took it upon themselves to fill a relatively big pothole in the middle of a busy road. The pair worked away breaking bricks with metal poles with home made cardboard signs on either side of them that read something along the lines of ‘filling potholes voluntarily and donations of $1 or 50c are kindly accepted’. I didn’t see anyone stop to make a donation.
It is going to take a lot to get the roads of Zimbabwe back to an acceptable and safe condition. In the meanwhile it is going to continue to cost vehicle owners a fair amount of money as they try to keep up with repairing damage caused by potholes.