By Marlvin Ngiza
The construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Matebeleland Province is progressing well with the project registering 66,2% of completion.
The project will facilitate the development of the Gwayi-Shangani Irrigation Scheme, Hydro-Power Generation, and clean water supply for the city of Bulawayo and all schools along the pipeline.
Speaking at a post-cabinet media briefing in Harare Tuesday, Acting Information and Publicity Minister Dr.Jenfan Muswere revealed that the cabinet has directed acceleration of the project which is 66,2% complete with the contractor now working on the dam wall.
“Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that construction of the Gwayi-Shangani dam is now at 66.2% completion. The contractor is now working on the dam wall. The process of gazetting the Gwayi-Shangani dam as a lake is in progress.
“Cabinet further directed an acceleration of the project in line with Vison 2030,” said Dr. Muswere.
Minister Muswere further informed that the pipeline construction has already begun with the 220 Mega Litres water treatment plant at Cowdray Park in tendering stage.
He added that the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) and Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) are expected to have finalised the mini-hydropower designs and the subsequent electricity evacuation infrastructure by the end of this month.
“The nation is also informed that contracts for civil works for the pipeline were signed on 7 April 2022, and sites were handed over to 11 contractors. All the contractors are now on-site, and 68 km of the 252 km of the pipeline route have been cleared, while 6 km have been excavated. The 220 Mega Litres per day Treatment Plant at Cowdray Park is at the tendering stage, with bids having closed on 10 June 2022. About 800megalitres of the treated water will be pumped directly to the 108 ML Magwegwe Clear Water Reservoir for onward distribution to the City of Bulawayo.
“Regarding hydro-power generation, excavations for the permanent access road commenced on 14 March 2022. The road will provide access to the mini-hydropower house, the final design capacity of the plant is 10 megawatts. The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) will finalise the designs of the mini-hydro power plant and the subsequent electricity evacuation infrastructure by end of this month. The power generated will be fed into the national grid and assist in achieving self-sufficiency in power generation as well as rural industrialisation for the benefit of local communities,” added Hon Muswere.
The valuations for compensations of households that will be relocated paving the way for this project have been completed.
“The Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities is working on model rural homesteads designs, and the proposed design drawings, complete with costs will be produced by 1 July 2022. The homesteads will have modern ablution facilities. Valuations for compensation of households around the dam that need to be relocated have been completed. The thrust is building formal and better houses with modern designs reflecting rural development as espoused in Vision 2030,” said Hon Muswere.
The Gwayi- Shangani dam is expected to boost irrigation agricultural activities in Matebeleland Province.
The government has already engaged chiefs in Binga, Lupane, and Hwange on irrigation development.
The Vision 2030 accelerator model seeks to achieve 200 hectares under irrigation per district.