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Govt secures $37 million for Gwayi-Shangani Dam

by Staff reporter
03 Jun 2017 at 10:18hrs | Views
THE construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Matabeleland North is set to resume after Government secured $37 million to clear arrears owed to the contractor and lay the ground for the beginning of the long-awaited project, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said here on Thursday.

The minister, who is part of a delegation led by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko that is attending the Russia International Economic Forum, said the completion of the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam in Masvingo has paved way for prioritisation of Gwayi-Shangani Dam, which is a major component of the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (NMZWP).

The funding that was earmarked for the Gwayi-Shangani Dam was last year diverted to complete the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam on the back of threats of floods.

As such, Minister Chinamasa said, Government had set aside $17 million owed to the contractor and $20 million to resume the project.

"I'm happy that we'll soon resume construction of the Gwayi Shangani Dam. We had already pumped in $35 million dollars into its construction and then we stopped and diverted the funds to finish Tokwe- Mukosi because of the threat of floods at Tokwe Mukosi," said Minister Chinamasa.

He said Government was now more focused on the Gwayi -Shangani Dam, which is a major component of the long-awaited NMZWP that is seen as the long term solution to the region's water problems.

"With the completion of Tokwe- Mukosi, we've now mobilised funds to resume construction at Gwayi- Shangani Dam. I'm sure it will be in the next couple of months. The contractor has been on site all along to protect the work that has already been done.

"We've therefore set aside $17 million to pay the money owed to the contractor and $20 million to resume the project," said Minister Chinamasa.

Close to $90 million is required to complete the Gwayi-Shangani Dam project, which is part of the solution to Bulawayo's perennial water problems. The dam is also expected to promote agricultural enterprises.

Vice President Mphoko, who visited the dam site last year, has called for the completion of the project, which is critical to the Matabeleland region and the country as a whole as it will create a greenbelt as well as feed into Bulawayo's industrial growth.

As an agro-based economy, Zimbabwe stands to benefit immensely from projects like Gwayi-Shangani, which could also increase earnings from exports and boost agro-processing industries.

Source - chronicle
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