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Another dam for Matabeleland

by Staff reporter
26 Jan 2022 at 04:42hrs | Views
A new 98 million cubic metre dam is being built by the Government in Nkayi district, making it the third major water body under construction in Matabeleland.

The Government, through the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa), is also constructing Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Matabeleland North and Tuli-Manyange Dam in Matabeleland South.

Completion of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam will address Bulawayo's perennial water challenges and also create a greenbelt in the province.

The dam, with a holding capacity of 650 million cubic metres of water, is part of the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project which was first mooted in 1912.

The Tuli-Manyange Dam has a holding capacity of 35 million cubic metres and irrigation schemes are expected to be created within its proximity.

It is envisaged that the construction of new water bodies will help support the switch from rain-fed agriculture and help food-insecure communities through provision of water for both irrigation and fishery.

The country is largely an agro-based economy, with most of its industrial output linked to the sector.

Zinwa corporate communications and marketing manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said Treasury allocated $1,5 billion in the national Budget to start construction of Ziminya Dam in Nkayi.

"The construction of Ziminya Dam has now commenced after the contractor recently moved on site and is already carrying out preliminary works such as surveys.

"The project entails the construction of the 98 million cubic metre dam, Nkayi Water Treatment Plant and establishment of an irrigation scheme."

Mrs Munyonga said once completed, an irrigation project of 1 250 hectares would be started in the area, as communities would be having access to reliable water source.

"This will go a long way in transformation of livelihoods in Nkayi and also improve food security for surrounding communities," she said.

Nkayi South National Assembly member Stars Mathe welcomed the construction of Ziminya Dam saying it will change the face of Nkayi district.

She said the contractor is employing locals.

"Some of them were employed during the soil testing period and we are expecting more locals to be employed by the end of this week, especially from communities in wards near the dam. This is a major dam and we know that it will take time for it to be completed. We believe this will contribute to local economic development."

Mathe said upon completion, the dam will enhance food security.

"Irrigation projects will be started in communities near the dam. The wards in the area are also expected to access clean water while fisheries projects will be started. We also expect nutritional gardens to be started here, so construction of Ziminya Dam will bring massive development to a rather marginalised Nkayi District. We already see some signs of development as a result of this dam project. The contractor has started drilling boreholes in schools and has promised more boreholes in the community as part of its corporate social responsibility," said Mathe.

Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo said the construction of Ziminya Dam attests to Government's mantra that no community should be left undeveloped.

"We are a province that does not have good rainfall patterns and water has been a challenge for our people. The construction of dams is a necessary development which can transform people's lives. This has been witnessed following the setting up of the Bubi-Lupane Irrigation Scheme. These water bodies also provide water for our livestock because without water a lot of people are affected. So, we are confident that construction of the dam will positively impact our communities in Nkayi," said Minister Moyo.

He commended President Mnangagwa for uplifting rural communities in Matabeleland North saying access to water has been one of the region's major concerns.

"President Mnangagwa's Second Republic is walking the talk in terms of transforming marginalised communities. Government is now prioritising areas that were yearning for development. We have various capital projects that are being attended to in the region. While Government is constructing the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, which will change the development trajectory in the region, it has moved to construct Ziminya Dam as well," he said.

"We are bearing witness to President Mnangagwa's vision that no community is going to be left behind as far as development is concerned. People at the grassroots are having their lives transformed by the Government, which is also attending to roads, among other programmes, that impact on them on a daily basis."

Source - The Herald
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