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'Gwayi-Shangani pipeline a game changer'

by Staff reporter
02 Mar 2021 at 06:42hrs | Views
A MATABELELAND North traditional leader Chief Mabhikwa has hailed government's move to speed up completion of the Gwayi-Shangani pipeline, saying the project, though long-overdue, would transform the generally arid region into a greenbelt and provide a lasting solution to Bulawayo's water woes.

His remarks came following the commissioning of the 245-kilometre pipeline by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday last week.

The pipeline is meant to connect the dam to City of Bulawayo.

Mabhikwa told Southern Eye that the pipeline would boost food security in the region.

"It's not about the pipeline to Bulawayo only. We are excited that, finally, construction has started and this water will also be used for agriculture in order to boost food security in our hunger-prone province.

"This will create a green belt,'' Chief Mabhikwa said.

Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka said there were plans to establish irrigation schemes along the pipeline, with 10 000 hectares of irrigable land already identified for the project.

"We have identified about 10 000 hectares of land that can be irrigated using water from the GwayiShangani Dam while still providing 450ML of water per day to Bulawayo residents, which is three times what the city requires," Masuka said.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube allocated $535 million for construction of the pipeline in his 2021 national budget.

Source - newsday