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29 houses for families displaced by powerline

by Staff reporter
29 Jun 2023 at 06:27hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) yesterday handed over 29 houses built in Hope Fountain on the outskirts of Bulawayo for families displaced by the new 400kv power transmission  line under the Hwange Thermal Power Station Units 7 and 8 expansion project.

In total, 72 houses each with a separate kitchen, ablution facilities and a kraal, among other basic necessities, will be constructed along the 310km powerline.

The modern houses will completely transform the lives of the affected families as  their accommodation is almost similar to what is found in towns and cities.

Minister of Energy and Power Development, Soda Zhemu, who was accompanied by Zesa Holdings senior management, handed over the 29 completed houses.

The sizes of houses range from  two-roomed to four-roomed units.

 The homestead has a separate, spacious kitchen with a thatched roof, a toilet and a kraal.

In his remarks, Minister Zhemu said ZPC had fulfilled its promise to the affected families of Umguza District.

"Today we stand here grateful for the support that we have received from the province, the community, the traditional chiefs, the parent ministry, the resident minister, and the Government of Zimbabwe. We're in this endeavour constructing 72 houses with a kitchen, ablution facilities, a kraal, among other basic necessities in a rural home, along the 310kms of our new powerline corridor," said Minister Zhemu.

The scope of the project includes 29 homes at Mazwi, nine at Hope Fountain, 10 at Heany Farm, three at Kloof Farm, four at Stevenson Farm, 11 at Epping Forest, one at Sawmills and five at Gwayi siding, Bambanani Village and Chezhou.

Minister  Zhemu told  beneficiaries that the Relocation Action Plan was necessitated by the building of two new power station units, Unit 7 and Unit 8 under the US$1,5 billion Hwange Expansion Project.

"The project is aimed at reducing the power demand shortage by adding 600MW to the national grid bringing our national total installed capacity to 2 900MW. The scope of the new units entailed construction of a new 310km 400KV power line that complies with the requirements of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) grid code, a community of which we are a member," he said.

"As such, there was a need to clear the corridor of the powerline creating a wayleave of 30m from the centre of the lone on either side."

Minister Zhemu said when ZPC, through the Hwange Expansion Project (HEP) initially started the Relocation Action Plan project, it was purely to satisfy the requirements of the project's Environmental and Social Impact assessment report for the Hwange Expansion Project to the nation.

However,  as the project took shape, it was realised that there was more than what was envisaged, that among the families that are relocating, there were marginalised groups, widows and orphans.

"We have a child-headed family at Hope Fountain  that we are moving to Heany Farm and providing decent accommodation for them gives us greater purpose," said Minister Zhemu.

In a speech read on his behalf, Minister of State  for  Matebeleland North Provincial Affairs and  Devolution Richard Moyo said the construction of the houses is expected to greatly improve the livelihoods of community members through provision of decent accommodation, employment opportunities during the tenure of the project and value creation.

Mr Moyo said although  the homesteads are geospatially spaced  along  the corridor of the power line, the excitement is shared by all.

"Hwange Expansion Project will result in an additional 600MW being fed into the national grid. We are blessed and grateful as a province, to have the opportunity of housing one of the single largest project investments the country has seen in the last 30 years," he said.

"We are here witnessing a promise fulfilment by Zesa  as was communicated during our combined project initiation engagements. In addition, we witnessed construction of these households by indigenous companies bearing witness to the Second Republic's commitment to black empowerment," said Minister Moyo.

He urged the beneficiaries to take good care of the homesteads as this was part of their inheritance.

"I am pleased to say that this project has actually left all those affected in a better state than they were before. It is now up to you to play your part by looking after these homesteads."

Source - The Chronicle