Joseph Madzimure and Andrew Muvishi
THE construction of the $US5 million Causeway Dam between Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces is nearing completion with Mashonaland East Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Apollonia Munzverengi, saying the water reservoir will transform people’s lives.
This comes as the Second Republic has been vigorously pursuing pragmatic policies to transform people’s lives and achieve President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030, of making Zimbabwe an upper middle economy.
The dam project is among other Government-funded initiatives that include the long-awaited Kunzvi Dam located north of Harare, Mutange in Gokwe, Gwayi-Shangani in Matabeleland North, Chivhu Dam in Mashonaland East and Marowanyati Dam in Buhera, Manicaland among others.
Such initiatives, that are taking shape across the country, will ensure that Zimbabwe is climate-proofed against droughts and thus eliminating the importation of food in two years as well as feed the rapid industrialisation that is taking place around the country.
Causeway Dam, which is located 30 kilometres east of Marondera with a carrying capacity of 75 million cubic litres, is set be commissioned mid-November by President Mnangagwa.
“Causeway Dam is one of the dams which is under construction in the province. We have Chivhu Dam, which is being built as well. Causeway is almost 95 percent done and we are confident that by October 31, the dam would be complete and we expect to commission the project in the second week of November. Already, the dam has almost nine million cubic litres of water, which is almost 10 percent if the dam is at full capacity,” said Minister Munzverengi during a media tour of the dam site on Thursday.
The superstructure is now complete with engineers from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (zinwa), along with their sub-contractors — China Nanchang Engineering and Multiforce contractors — working on the spillway which is 40 percent complete and the construction of the outlets, intake tower and a valve box.
The dam is located at the boundary of Makoni and Marondera Districts in Manicaland and Mashonaland East provinces, respectively.
It will enable irrigation for both resettled A1 farmers and surrounding commercial farmers with a potential to irrigate a total of 2 250 hectares.
The US$5 million project, which is being constructed along Macheke River, is expected to provide water to Marondera and Marondera University of Agricultural Science and Technology for both domestic and industrial purposes.
Upon completion, areas that are going to benefit from the Dam are Svosve in Mashonaland East and Chiduku in Manicaland.
In addition, settlements in Rusape, Headlands can also use the dam as a source water, although it entails pumping the water over long distances.
Dowa and Zviyambe small scale farming areas can also access water from the dam.
Engineers are working around the clock to complete the project.
zinwa Causeway Dam resident engineer, Davison Madondo said work at the dam is well on course.
“We are only left with two weeks to complete the dam. We are working round the clock to ensure the completion of the dam. We are finishing the construction of the spillway, outlets, intake tower and valve box,” he said.
After completion, the area will be transformed into a greenbelt with a team from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement working on a master plan for an irrigation scheme which is going to occupy almost 360 hectares.
Villagers who were affected by the dam construction have been resettled and during interviews with The Herald, they hailed the Government for providing them with a water source that can enable them to farm all-year-round.
The Government is currently sinking boreholes for the relocated families for easy access of clean water.
One of the relocated farmers, a 21-year-old Wellington Chigogo, thanked the Government for compensating them.
“We are grateful for this initiative and we want to thank our Government for giving us money to resettle, and at the same time benefit from the same project,” he said.
Another villager, Moses Chinhara (61) who has been relocated, said they are now going to practice horticulture.
“We used to rely on rain water, but this Government initiative will see us practice horticulture all-year-round and producing fresh produce,” he said.
When President Mnangagwa announced a new foreign policy thrust in November 2017 during his inauguration, some doubting Thomases were sceptical, however, his administration has shamed critics, through infrastructural development projects, improving power generation and also resuscitating industries.