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Nightshifts at Lake Gwayi Shangani

by Staff reporter
10 May 2022 at 07:43hrs | Views
CONTRACTORS at Lake Gwayi Shangani are now working night shifts to ensure the construction of the dam wall is completed next month.

Construction work at the Lake Gwayi Shangani dam wall and earth movers deployed to excavate the pipeline to Bulawayo

Chinese engineers, China Water and Electric Corp won the tender to construct the Lake Gwayi Shangani Dam and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) is in charge of the project.

The construction of the dam will transform Matabeleland region as irrigation projects will be established along the pipeline thereby turning the region into a green belt and will provide a permanent solution to Bulawayo's water shortages.

Lake Gwayi-Shangani is part of the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, an idea which was conceived more than a century ago and has only been turned into reality by the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa.

Two weeks ago, the country started receiving pipes from South Africa for the 245km pipeline that will bring water from the dam to Bulawayo.

The dam wall is now 68 percent complete with Government expressing satisfaction with construction works being undertaken.

Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka recently said the century old dream of bringing water to Bulawayo is becoming a reality under President Mnangagwa's administration.

He said the project should be commissioned before Christmas this year.

Minister Masuka said the dam wall construction is expected to be completed by the end of next month while the laying of the pipeline should be finalised by October 31.

Responding to Chronicle questions, Zinwa corporate communications and marketing manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said workers at the dam site started working around the clock early this month to ensure the project meets its deadline.

"Yes, it's true. They started night shifts on April 2 to accelerate progress," said Mrs Munyonga in a brief response.

Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo said all materials needed to complete the dam project are on site.

He said it was important to meet the set deadlines given the fact that the project had dragged on for a very long time.

"The target has been to complete the dam construction by the end of June. The fact that they are now working day and night is important considering that at some stage the progress was stalled due to shortage of materials. Now that all the material is on site it is necessary to ensure all works are completed so that the dam starts benefiting the people," said Minister Moyo.

He said the delivery of pipes that will bring water from Lake Gwayi Shangani to Bulawayo confirms Government's commitment to complete the project meant to solve Bulawayo's water shortages while also transforming the people's lives in Matabeleland North and Bulawayo.

"We want to express gratitude to President Mnangagwa and the Second Republic because he is the one who made all the efforts to ensure this project is completed. The pipes have started arriving, we are confident that Bulawayo will soon start receiving water from Gwayi-Shangani. In Matabeleland, we will also benefit through irrigation projects," said Minister Moyo.

Bulawayo's Cowdray Park councillor Kidwell Mujuru said the laying of the pipeline is also expected to create employment for lcoals.

In Cowdray, a water reservoir will be built where water will be pumped in before being distributed to different parts of the city.

"We expect that 100 jobs will be created for the locals during the laying of the pipeline.

This project will therefore contribute to socio-economic development of this area and beyond.

The biggest benefit however will be solving the perennial water problems for Bulawayo. We are thankful to President Mnangagwa's Government for delivering on this important project.

We are very happy that the New Dispensation has addressed this problem which successive governments before it failed to solve," said Mujuru.

Source - The Chronicle
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