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Gwayi-Shangani Dam 70% complete, says Zinwa

by Staff reporter
08 Oct 2023 at 19:26hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has reported that the construction progress of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Matabeleland North Province has reached 70.2%. There are concerted efforts to expedite the supply of water from this dam to address the ongoing water shortages in Bulawayo.

Bulawayo has been grappling with recurring water shortages, with residents enduring more than a week without access to this essential resource. The ambitious project, aimed at sourcing water from the distant Zambezi River, located over 400 kilometers away, is regarded as a lasting solution to the city's water challenges. Remarkably, this project was first proposed in 1912, and after over a century, it is still under construction.

In January, the Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Rural Development, Anxious Masuka, had stated that the massive Lake Gwayi-Shangani would be completed before the start of the 2023/24 summer cropping season.

Addressing questions regarding the state of water supply dams for Bulawayo and the progress on the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, Zinwa spokesperson Marjorie Munyonga revealed that the project has reached a completion rate of 70.2%. She emphasized the significance of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam and the Gwayi-Shangani to Bulawayo pipeline as critical components of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, which is considered the long-term solution to Bulawayo's water challenges. Munyonga affirmed, "Once the project is complete, the city will receive a reliable water supply."

The construction of the dam is being undertaken through collaboration between Zinwa and a Chinese contractor.

Currently, Bulawayo sources its water from six dams located in Matabeleland South: Insiza Mayfair, Umzingwane, Mtshabezi, Inyankuni, Lower Ncema, and Upper Ncema dams. Munyonga acknowledged that these dams have contributed to addressing the city's water challenges, with the Mtshabezi Pipeline serving as a medium-term solution. However, she stressed that the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project is actively and diligently pursued as the long-term solution.

Munyonga provided water level updates as of September 20: Umzingwane Dam at 8.2%, Mtshabezi Dam at 77%, Upper Ncema at 24.4%, Inyankuni at 31.8%, Lower Ncema at 34.8%, and Insiza at 64%.

Meanwhile, Bulawayo residents have expressed growing concerns about worsening water shortages in the post-election period. Ambrose Sibindi, chairperson of the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association, highlighted that some suburbs, such as Pumula South, Pumula East, and Nkulumane, experience water shortages lasting beyond the scheduled 72-hour water shedding periods, posing a potential risk of waterborne diseases. To mitigate this, Bulawayo town clerk Christopher Dube mentioned that the council is supplying water using bowsers to stabilize the situation and prevent waterborne disease outbreaks.

Source - southern eye