$2,2bn set aside for Gwayi-Shangani works

Source: $2,2bn set aside for Gwayi-Shangani works | The Herald

Bulawayo Bureau

GOVERNMENT is working on an integrated master plan for the renamed Lake
Gwayi-Shangani in Hwange District, Matabeleland North as Treasury is set
to release $2,2 billion next month to speed up the completion of the
massive project.

The construction of Lake Gwayi-Shangani is expected to be completed in
December this year with the 245km pipeline that connects the water body to
Bulawayo set to be completed in 2022.

Government has since allocated $535 million towards the commencement of
the pipeline.

The construction works at Gwayi-Shangani Dam resumed in March after
Chinese engineers contracted to the project returned to the country, a
year after being held in the Asian nation due to Covid-19 travel
restrictions.

Lake Gwayi-Shangani construction is part of the National Matabeleland
Zambezi Water Project (NMZWP) which upon completion is expected to provide
a permanent water solution for Bulawayo and Matabeleland region.

In an interview during the tour of the project yesterday, the Minister of
Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr
Anxious Masuka said the visit marks the beginning of a process to set in
motion a formal process of developing an integrated master plan for Lake
Gwayi-Shangani.

The envisaged integrated master plan will focus on other economic
activities such as tourism, agriculture, value chain, infrastructure
development, health and well-being, food and security including some of
the projects that are going to come out of the dam and pipeline.

“Today marks a historic day because it marks the beginning of a national
process that is going to be life changing for Matabeleland North and
Zimbabwe. Lake Gwayi-Shangani is the third biggest dam in the country
outside Masvingo,” he said.

“This is transformational and for far too long we have acted in disjointed
and prefatory approaches as Government and thanks to the new dispensation,
which is led by His Excellency President Mnangagwa for the new approach.”

Dr Masuka said unlike in the past during which a dam would be commissioned
upon its completion before people turn their backs, Government has
introduced a new approach of accelerating all the various component facets
of the project in line with Vision 2030.

“The dam is an enabler and we now have this integrated approach in which
the President has tasked us to track that progress.

“The Gwayi-Shangani is no longer a dam, but a lake and this is the third
biggest in the country after Lake Mutirikwi and Tugwi-Mukosi and this is
something that is exciting,” he said.

“We are also varying the nature of how we do dams because the dam is not
the project, but a means to an end, it is an enabler and this enables
Bulawayo to have water, which is why we are now tendering for the
Gwayi-Shangani-Bulawayo pipeline.

“We also have a 10-megawatt power plant and already we are beginning to
look at all these things, which are now moving concurrently unlike in the
past when we did a dam then we commission it, celebrate its completion and
turn our back.”

Dr Masuka said drawing lessons from Tugwi-Mukosi whose water has not be
utilised for the past four years, Government is now accelerating all the
various components of Lake Gwayi-Shangani project.

He said as part of the integrated master plan for Lake Gwayi-Shangani, the
engineers will be able to look at the other ancillary activities that are
associated with the water body that need to be undertaken.

“This will also allow Treasury to have this more holistic approach to the
project so that in their financing they will also be able to take into
account this integrated way of looking at things. This province will never
be the same again come 2022 and beyond,” said Dr Masuka.

He said since at least 40 families will be displaced due to the
construction of the pipeline, it is critical to avail resources.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development Clemence Chiduwa
who was also part of the ministerial delegation said next week Treasury
will release more than US$90 000 for the evaluation process in light of
households that are going to be affected by the construction of the
pipeline.

“With regard to Lake Gwayi-Shangani, we are targeting to complete the
construction of the dam by December 2022 and we want to ensure that the
funds are available. In the next three weeks up to September we are going
to release $2,2 billion and already we have released $500 million towards
the completion of the project,” he said.

“In addition to that we are also looking at the evaluation that is going
to be done to find out if there are any households that are going to be
affected especially with the construction of the pipeline from the dam up
to Bulawayo.

“Next week we are going to provide US$90 470 just for the evaluation to be
done. The construction of the dam should be a means to an end and what we
want to see is economic activities in the ground.”

Deputy Minister Chiduwa said Lake Gwayi-Shangani is going to contribute
towards the realisation of the country’s development agenda.

“In terms of devolution, the locals are going to develop and grow a local
economy through making use of the pipeline and the dam and these are some
of the priority areas in the NDSI which again is also adding to our Vision
2030,” he said.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 2 months ago

    Is it adequately accommodative of the looting %…as per our tradition.