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Gwayi-Shangani Dam engineers back on site

by Staff reporter
01 Apr 2021 at 07:00hrs | Views
THE attainment of Independence in 1980 has seen the Government implementing several developmental projects for citizens who had been sidelined under white colonial rule for many years.

The Second Republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa is primarily focusing on key projects aimed at transforming the lives of the previously marginalised black majority.

The Gwayi-Shangani Dam project with a 45km pipeline that connects the dam to Bulawayo is one of the key projects undertaken by the Government after Independence to alleviate the perennial water crisis in the city in line with the development agenda.

The dam, with a holding capacity of 650 million cubic metres of water, and pipeline project are major components of the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (NMZWP), which was first mooted in 1912, but failed to take off under the Rhodesian administration.

The progress of the project is indeed a true reflection of one of Government's milestones post 1980. It is only after the coming in of the Second Republic that the project has received significant fiscal support and political will that has seen it taking off at an accelerated pace.

Construction works at the Gwayi-Shangani Dam are set to resume in the next few weeks after Chinese engineers involved in the project returned on site. The engineers failed to return to the country last year due to Covid-19 induced travel restrictions.

Government has set an end of year target for completion of the dam. Its construction is part of the century old NMZWP dream whose aim is to permanently solve the Bulawayo water crisis.

Treasury in the 2021 national budget allocated $4,5 billion for completion of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam wall which is at 40 percent at the moment.

Responding to questions, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) corporate communications and marketing manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said setbacks that stalled the construction last year have been dealt with.

"Work on the Gwayi-Shangani Dam wall is set to resume in the coming weeks once river flows have receded. This follows the return on site by some of the contractor's senior staff members who had been stuck in China for the past year due to Covid-19 induced travel restrictions. The absence of these staff members slowed progress at the dam. Some of the senior staff members including the site manager are already in the country and at the project site after returning to Zimbabwe ahead of the resumption of full-scale construction of the dam, which has been earmarked for completion at the end of the year," said Mrs Munyonga.

She said while waiting for the river flow to recede, other works such as the preparation of concrete aggregates and works on the access road are underway to pave way for the seamless resumption of works on the dam wall.

"Government in the 2021 fiscal year allocated $4,5 billion towards the construction of the Gwayi Shangani Dam which on completion will become Zimbabwe's third largest inland water body after Tugwi-Mukosi and Lake Mutirikwi," she said.

Government has also started on the second phase of the NMZWP which is the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani-Bulawayo 245km pipeline that would move the water from the dam to Bulawayo.

Government has allocated $535 million towards the commencement of the 245km Gwayi-Shangani-Bulawayo pipeline. The pipeline is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Zinwa, which is the project manager has already opened bids for companies interested in mapping the Gwayi-Shangani-Bulawayo pipeline route. The third phase of the NMZWP will be the construction of another pipeline linking the dam to Zambezi river.

Source - chronicle

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