The GOVERNMENT is accelerating efforts to achieve benchmarks that were set under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and the Vision 2030 target for the country to become an upper middle-income economy, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
Speaking during the commissioning of the Lupane Water Treatment Works and the Bubi-Lupane Irrigation Vision 2030 Accelerator Model, the President said the two projects are a reflection and testimony of the professionalism and results-oriented work ethic of the Second Republic.
The commissioning of the two projects comes after President Mnangagwa commissioned the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Pipeline and the Epping Forest Water Supply and Augmentation Project for the City of Bulawayo in February.
“These various projects demonstrate that my Government continues to work tirelessly to ensure that the benchmarks set out in the National Development Strategy-1 (NDS1) are attained. My administration thus continues to realise these critical benchmarks as we re-double our efforts to lay the necessary foundations for improved agricultural production. To this end, Government is expediting the multi-pronged development of water and sanitation, infrastructure and the evacuation of water for utilisation, rehabilitation and revitalisation of irrigation schemes across all districts of the country. To date, over $10 billion has been allocated for dam construction and the development of irrigation schemes,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the allocated funds will see at least 350 000 hectares of land being put under irrigation by 2025.
The deliberate and timely policy on the need to craft master plans for dams under construction, detailing how the water must be utilised, should equally be speeded up and operationalised.
President Mnangagwa said the Second Republic remained committed to remodelling irrigation schemes.
“The establishment of Bubi-Lupane Irrigation Scheme and Lupane Water Treatment Works projects are a reflection and testimony of the hard work, dedication, professionalism and honest results-oriented work ethic of the Second Republic. This further underscores the power of a shared vision and unity of purpose in our endeavour to realise national development targets.
“To ensure sustainable development that leaves no one behind, we must, therefore, entrench these values across all communities and parts of our country as we all resolutely work towards the realisation of Vision 2030,” he said.
On the two Lupane projects, the President called on the province, local authorities and other stakeholders to focus on their comparative advantages and ensure the sustainable transformation and development of Lupane into a more attractive investment destination, as well as industrial and commercial centre.
He said the use of contemporary urban land use planning technologies, models and infrastructure development standards aligned to the country’s vision must be adopted.
“Under the Second Republic, the holistic completion of development projects is key to spurring production, productivity and profitability across all sectors of the economy. This recently completed Lupane Water Treatment Plant is set to improve water supplies to Lupane Town and surrounding communities. Leveraging on the availability of clean and safe water supplies, among other key utilities, Lupane as an administrative capital of Matabeleland North province must urgently be transformed to become a modern smart city. This will go a long way in broadening economic opportunities for local communities and accelerating the establishment of rural industries,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President said the Bubi-Lupane irrigation scheme was one of the pioneers of the Vision 2030 Accelerator Model with other irrigation schemes in the country being modelled around it.
He said the successes of the community will be replicated and used as a source of inspiration for other districts, with the community set to be employed at the scheme earning a monthly salary with massive returns after every cropping season.
“This seeks to create rural industry systems and structures through rapid transformation, industrialisation and broad based economic growth and development. I therefore, urge you to work hard, to be innovative and deploy your various skills to record more success stories out of this irrigation scheme.
“I challenge the community of Lupane District and Matabeleland North as a whole to put shoulders to the wheel, increasing production and productivity, leveraging on projects such as this one and other comparative advantages of the province. None but ourselves will build our communities and our country. True empowerment and sustainable development will only be realised through greater participation of communities, especially women and youth in National development projects and programmes,” said the President.
He said the Gwayi-Shangani Dam construction project is set for completion in December to bring a lasting solution to the perennial water challenges in the two Matabeleland provinces.
“The construction of Gwayi-Shangani Dam, which is an integral component of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, is ongoing. It’s completion and that of the Gwayi/Shangani-Bulawayo pipeline entails the creation of a green belt for communities along the route.
“Meanwhile, the construction of Ziminya Dam here in Matabeleland North, and Tuli-Manyange Dam in Matabeleland South, will enhance the existing water storage capacity in these provinces. This will in turn transform these regions from being mainly for livestock farming to diversified cropping activities. The Matabeleland region therefore, possesses immense potential for growing crops for food self-sufficiency as well as export into the region,” the President said.
On his trip to Lupane, President Mnangagwa yesterday showed that he is a listening leader in touch with the people when he travelled by road from Bulawayo and also returned by road in order to have a personal feel of the needs of communities and assess developmental work being carried out by Government.
The President is usually flown, but this time around is said to have insisted that he would rather travel the 352 kilometre stretch to Lupane and back by road so as to gain a personal appreciation of the needs of the community.
The commissioning ceremonies were attended by Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga and several Cabinet Ministers.
Speaking on the President’s insistence on travelling by road to assess the needs of the people of Matabeleland North province and progress on major developmental projects, VP Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, said this was testament to his commitment towards completing key projects under the Second Republic.
“Today, the guest of honour having travelled by road all the way from Bulawayo, he did not fly, he said; ‘I want to see the problems affecting people in Matabeleland North from their roads right up to their projects’. So he travelled here by road, trying to pick up all the issues and so he has now arrived to launch the Agriculture Rural Authority Vision 2030 accelerator model programme,” said VP Chiwenga.