BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
BINGA villagers who face eviction in Lubimbi to pave way for the Gwayi-Shangani Dam have been assured that eviction will not take place this season as evaluation was still taking place.
This was revealed by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority spokesperson Marjorie Munyonga.
“Zinwa conducted a data capture exercise after marking the dam’s high flood level in 2018. The exercise identified the people and infrastructure such as powerlines and roads that were within the high flood level zone and needed to be relocated,” Munyonga said.
“The information was forwarded to the Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development and Local Government ministries, which are the relevant ministries for the relocation of affected people.”
She said the dam would not start impounding water this season.
“The two ministries have since deployed their teams, which are on the ground evaluating the number of homesteads, roads, powerlines, schools and other properties that fall within the high flood level in preparation for the relocation and the rerouting of roads and powerlines.
“The dam is, however, not expected to start impounding water this season and has two openings at the bottom, each measuring 5m widex8m high to let the floods pass through the dam, hence there is no risk of people being affected by floods should the rainy season start.”
The construction of the dam is set to displace around 2 000 villagers from Lubimbi in Binga.
Last week, Binga villagers said they had identified suitable land for their resettlement in the Nakanono area.
Government recently carried out an assessment of the value of the properties that are likely to be affected by the expansion of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Lubimbi with a view to compensate the villagers in United States dollars.
Commissioning of phase one of the project is supposed to take place in December, and thereafter the villagers will be relocated.
The Gwayi-Shangani project is expected to supply water to Bulawayo.
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