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Gwayi-Shangani, Kunzvi dam works expedited

by Staff reporter
09 Nov 2023 at 05:54hrs | Views
The construction of major dams such as the Kunzvi and Gwayi-Shangani to augment supplies to Harare and Bulawayo is being expedited.

Most suburbs in the cities have been facing water challenges for several years resulting in diarrhoeal disease outbreaks.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Deputy Minister Davis Marapira said Government is focusing on completing these two large dams to ensure that people have enough water for domestic use and irrigation in these cities.

"We used to do 13 dams at a time now we want to finish Kunzvi dam and Gwayi-Shangani then we focus on other small dams.

"We better finish the bigger ones and move on.

"Kunzvi is now around 45 percent complete and Gwayi-Shangani is above 70 percent.

"Currently, we are focusing on those two major dams.

"Gwayi-Shangani will provide water for irrigation and provide water to Bulawayo.

"Kunzvi dam will provide water to Harare to make sure that the city has no water problems.

"Yes, we may have irrigation development along the way as part of our project but the major project is the provision of water to our major cities,''he said.

The rolling out of dam construction countrywide will boost agricultural production, provide potable water, install mini-hydro power projects and harness existing water bodies as the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa seeks to revolutionise agriculture.

Statistics from the ministry indicate that the construction of the high impact dams budgeted at US$1,1 billion across the country is progressing well.

Besides Gwayi-Shangani there are Semwa Dam in Rushinga, Ziminya dam in Nkayi, Matabeleland North, Vungu Dam in Silobela, Midlands while Muchekeranwa dam near Marondera has since been completed with farmers now reaping fruits from it.

Kunzvi Dam is being constructed on the Nyagui River which separates Murewa and Goromonzi Districts. The main purpose of the dam is to supply water to Harare.

It will also supply water to rural service centres in the vicinity.

The Government, through the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa), is targeting to construct 15 high impact dams in line with the Second Republic's vision to transform Zimbabwe into an upper-middle income economy by 2030.

Gwayi-Shangani dam will hold 691 million cubic litres of water for irrigation and Bulawayo.

Harare residents have also praised the initiative for Kunzvi saying it will go a long way in alleviating poverty and hunger, adding that they are grateful to have dams which will sustain their families.

Mrs Tarisai Mawurukira of Glen view indicated that the dams will provide water to the surrounding communities and create jobs.

 "It is also going to provide tourism, fishing and food sufficiency if residents use the water well. People are going to benefit a lot.

"People will irrigate their small portions and get food for their families. The community will also benefit from good food like fish," she said.

Mr Petros Mlambo of Warren Park 1 said the initiative will help to reduce challenges of water borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

"There was a burden of water cholera outbreaks because of water shortages but now we thank the Government for having an initiative which will save Harare from such disease outbreaks.

"We appeal if they can speed up this initiative to save the majority of people from such diseases,'' he said.

Mrs Mary Muzanenhamo of Dzivarasekwa Extension said the dam would help the majority to do fishing business.  "We have victims of gender-based violence, these are the ones who rely on their husbands for survival. If you are self-employed you will not get into such troubles.

"These dams will help to stabilise marriages,'' she said.

 The project highlights the 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.

Source - The Herald