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Treasury gives priority to Gwayi-Shangani pipeline completion

by Staff reporter
03 Dec 2023 at 10:36hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has scaled up investments in the provision of water for domestic, industrial and agricultural use with the Lake Gwayi-Shangani and pipeline construction being one of the priority projects in the allocation of funds from the 2024 national budget.

The development is part of Government's continued efforts in the provision of water and sanitation services as it sets its sight on bringing a lasting solution to Bulawayo's water woes while curbing the re-emergence of preventable water-borne diseases such as cholera. The city is also set to benefit from the support of Inter-Governmental Fiscal Transfer allocations where local authorities are expected to identify water supply and sanitation projects they wish to undertake.

Presenting the 2024 national budget on Thursday, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Prof Mthuli Ncube said the absence of reliable water supplies for industrial use was also putting a premium on economic activities given the resultant increased cost from alternative options.

He said to fully maximise on investments in the sector, the integrated approach to water development had been embraced by Government, which ensured that dam construction, conveyancing and complementary investments such as irrigation development were undertaken simultaneously.

"Under the 2024 national budget, overall support towards dam construction projects amounts to $389 billion with priority being on the completion of Gwayi-Shangani Dam and pipeline with the dam now at the advanced stage of completion. Other targeted dams include Kunzvi Dam with the associated treatment plant and conveyancing pipeline, Ziminya, Tuli-Manyange, Bindura, Semwa, Silverstroom, and Vungu dams. Government will also support provision of requisite infrastructure for new impactful investments, such as Manhize project (iron and steel plant in Midlands province)," said Prof Ncube.

The Lake Gwayi-Shangani in Matebeleland North province is expected to solve water problems for Bulawayo and also create a greenbelt across the province to Bulawayo, and also positively impact on neighbouring Matebeleland South province. Kunzvi Dam is expected to solve water problems for Harare and surrounding areas, Ziminya Dam construction is underway in Nkayi, Matebeleland North province, Tuli Manyange Dam is in Gwanda, Matebeleland South province, Vungu Dam is being built in Silobela, Midlands province while Bindura, Semwa and Silverstroom dam projects are in Mashonaland Central province.

Prof Ncube said the strategic priorities in 2024 in the water and sanitation sector will include the rehabilitation and maintenance of existing water and sanitation infrastructure such as reticulation systems, treatment plants, distribution systems and water bodies. There will also be construction of additional water bodies, targeting completion of ongoing dam projects, capacitation of local authorities, capacitation of Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) and other agencies involved in water resource management to ensure that service provision was enhanced. There will be efforts to improve access to water and sanitation services in rural areas through drilling of boreholes and the construction and rehabilitation of water supply schemes.

"In addition, $204,9 billion has been set aside for borehole rehabilitation and drilling programmes through Zinwa and Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (Rida), including further procurement of drilling rigs. These interventions will be complemented by investments under the Presidential Rural Development Programme, while local authorities are expected to identify water supply and sanitation projects to be supported through the Inter-Governmental Fiscal Transfers allocations.

The sector also is expected to receive development assistance amounting to US$7,9 million in 2024 towards sustainable, climate-resilient and scalable (water, sanitation and hygiene) WASH services, as well as support from the People's Republic of China who have pledged to drill 300 boreholes in the districts that were affected by Cyclone Idai," said Prof Ncube.

He said the continued growth in population for people living in small towns and growth points was exerting strain on water and sanitation services while in some new settlements there were no such services at all.

Source - The Sunday News