Investors short-listed for ambitious water harvesting plan

Source: Investors short-listed for ambitious water harvesting plan | The Sunday Mail 18 AUG, 2019

Investors short-listed for ambitious water harvesting plan
Ripples on Vallecito lake in Colorado – morning sunrise

Harmony Agere

Government is presently evaluating suitors for 19 water harvesting projects which include dams, irrigation and water supply infrastructure as it actively seeks to militate against the growing vagaries of climate change.

Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) recently flighted local and international tenders for the public-private partnership (PPP) projects, which will be operated through the build, operate and transfer (BOT) model.

The authority is also ploughing ahead with the construction of key dams such as Gwayi-Shangani Dam (Matabeleland North), Sengwa (Mashonaland Central) and Marowanyati (Manicaland).

Marowanyati Dam is reportedly substantially complete and is holding in excess of 33 million cubic metres of water.

Zinwa’s corporate communications and marketing manager, Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said the tender evaluation is now underway.

“The tenders have already gone through the evaluation process, where potential investors were identified, selected and recommended for further due diligence on their submissions,” said Mrs Munyonga.

“The tender evaluation is now under review by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.”

On completion, the projects are expected to create opportunities for hydroelectricity generation and recreation while boosting national water supply.

The 2018/2019 drought season resulted in the current water shortages and poor harvests.

Mrs Munyonga said under the BOT model, investors will operate the project during the concession period, after which it will be handed over to Government.

Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Vangelis Haritatos told The Sunday Mail that water harvesting will ensure sustainable productivity and self-sufficiency.

“These dams will be extremely instrumental in increasing the supply of water, which will increase the nation’s irrigation potential whilst also providing more dams for water harvesting,” he said.

“Several of the 19 tenders have opportunities for hydro power, which makes them even more exciting for investors. They are also beneficial for us as a nation as this will increase the supply of power into the national grid.

“We are hoping that the winners will be announced soon. The dams will also provide opportunities for recreation and fisheries.”

According to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) 2018 Rural Livelihoods Assessment Report, there are only a few wards with irrigation schemes, especially in the drier regions.

Due to climate change, the country has been experiencing recurrent droughts since 2000.