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High-level indaba for Gwayi-Shangani

by Staff reporter
31 May 2022 at 06:28hrs | Views
A HIGH-LEVEL inter-ministerial indaba will be held in Hwange this Friday to assess progress and evaluate the impact of the construction of the giant Lake Gwayi-Shangani, which is set for completion next month.

The huge water body is close to 70 percent complete and is expected to permanently solve Bulawayo's perennial water supply problems and transform the entire Matabeleland region into a green belt.

The project is part of the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (NMZWP), a century old dream, which was mooted in 1912 but only President Mnangagwa's Government is making it a reality.

The Government has set end of next month as the completion deadline and the commissioning is expected to be done before the end of the year. Upon completion, Lake Gwayi-Shangani will provide 450ML of water per day to Bulawayo residents, which is three times what the city requires.

A vast stretch of irrigable land covering 10 000 hectares along the Gwayi-Shangani-Bulawayo pipeline has since been identified.

Teams are already on ground excavating and laying the 245km Gwayi-Shangani-Bulawayo pipeline and about 500 locals are involved in the construction of the dam.

Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka, has invited Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga in his capacity as Health and Child Care Minister, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo, National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe and Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Nqobizitha Ndlovu to attend the inter-ministerial indaba on Friday.

He has also invited Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Evelyn Ndlovu, Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Prof Amon Murwira, Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando, Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Felix Mhona, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo and his Bulawayo counterpart Judith Ncube.

Dr Masuka also invited Bulawayo Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube to attend the crucial meeting.

"This meeting will afford us an opportunity to get progress updates on the holistic project elements covering dam construction, power generation, irrigation development, fisheries, Gwayi-Shangani-Bulawayo pipeline, resettlement and compensation of displaced farmers," reads part of Dr Masuka's invitation letter dated 27 May 2022 seen by Chronicle.

He said the meeting will culminate in a visit to assess progress at each of the identified project elements.

Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Moyo, who said he was yet to receive the invite, said the coming together of various Government ministers is essential in ensuring that bottlenecks affecting the project are addressed.

"This will be important because when we put our heads together, we can then come up with resolutions that can address any challenges affecting the dam construction," he said.

Plans are underway to set up a 10 megawatts hydro power station plant, which will feed the national grid.

The Government has said it will construct mini hydro power stations at all the dams under construction.

The irrigation projects to be established along the pipeline to Bulawayo will boost food production in Matabeleland North thereby enhancing national food security .

The dam project is expected to leave a knowledge transfer legacy and creation of new industries at the dam site. China International Water and Electric Corp, which is constructing the dam, is expected to transfer knowledge and skills to locals working on the site.

The company has established a steel pipe manufacturing workshop at the site and as such is no longer importing the pipes thereby saving foreign currency.

The production of the steel pipes will continue even after the completion of the dam construction.

The contractors have also established a quarry plant which again can continue to produce the quarry after the completion of the dam construction and these material production activities have drastically reduced costs of the dam construction.

Source - The Chronicle