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Tuli Manyange Dam work gathers momentum

by Staff reporter
30 May 2022 at 06:58hrs | Views
THE construction of Tuli Manyange Dam in Gwanda District is gathering pace, with works on the main dam having started.

Authorities say the project is taking shape and moving at a fast pace to meet deadlines.

The excavation of the main dam's foundation has started while the construction of access roads is also underway and saddle dams that were being constructed to support the main dam are nearing completion.

Construction of the foundation is the most critical stage as it must carry the dam and water loads safely without failing under excessive settlement.

Excavation involves fragmenting of weathered and weak rocks through blasting for anchorage of the dam on hard rock.

Once excavation is complete concrete will be poured on the foundation of the main dam and then the foundation will be treated to seal cracks.

Thereafter a wall will be constructed.

The project highlights Government's investment in strategic water bodies around the country.

It is envisaged that 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 fisheries.

This is critical for Zimbabwe, which is largely an agriculture-based economy with most of its industrial output back-lining to the sector.

Also, in progress at Tuli-Manyange is the drilling, blasting and transportation of rocks for the production of concrete stones required for the construction of the dam.

Preliminary works which include constructing of two saddle dams are at an advanced stage with the first dam now 80 percent complete.

Preliminary works are set to be completed by July this year.

A saddle dam is a water barrier, typically an auxiliary feature to increase the water storage capability.

Treasury released $43 million last year to expedite the project whose deadline for completion is December next year.

Once complete, the 35 million cubic metre-dam is expected to provide raw water for irrigation, which will boost food security.

Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) corporate communications and marketing manager, Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said all is set for the project to meet its December 2023 completion target.

"Work on the construction of Tuli-Manyange Dam in Gwanda remains ongoing.

Current works at the dam is the construction of saddle dams 1 and 2 with the first saddle dam now at 80 percent.

The excavation of the main dam's main foundations has since started while the construction of access roads is also underway at the site," she said.

"Also in progress is the drilling, blasting and transportation of rocks for the production of the concrete stones required for the construction of the dam.

The dam, with a capacity of 35 million cubic metres, is being constructed to provide irrigation water for communities in Gwanda and is expected to be completed in December 2023."

The dam is yet another milestone under the Second Republic in improving the livelihood of rural communities as it will provide raw water for irrigation.

It is envisaged that once Tuli Manyange Dam is complete, at least 2 000 hectares will be put under irrigation.

The dam is also set to serve Vela, Guyu Business Centre, Ntalale Business Centre, Chelesa Business Centre, Sizhubane Barracks, Manama Mission and Business Centre, Sebasa and Mankonkoni irrigation schemes.

The project is being spearheaded by Zinwa while China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE) was contracted to do civil works.

Contractors are also expected to tar the 7km dusty stretch leading to the dam site from the Gwanda-Ntepe road.

Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Abedinico Ncube said the project is taking shape and moving at a fast pace.

"Ever since the project started under the Second Republic it hasn't stopped and there is some work being done every single day.

This dam will bring huge change not only to the nearby community but the entire province.

At this pace, the project will meet the set deadline.

People have long awaited the completion of the project," he said.

Tuli-Manyange Dam has a history of unfulfilled promises dating back to the early 1960s when the project was first mooted by the Rhodesian government.

In 2006, Government awarded the contract for the construction of the dam, but due to financial constraints, the contractor suspended works.

Progress is now being recorded under the Second Republic.

Source - The Chronicle