The Sunday Mail
MAROVANYATI DAM in Buhera District, Manicaland, which President Mnangagwa promised to the community in May 2018, has been completed and will be commissioned “anytime soon”.
Clearing of the first 100 hectares to be irrigated by water from the dam is underway, a significant milestone in improving the livelihood of rural communities.
The dam will provide raw water for Murambinda Growth Point and three irrigation schemes downstream.
At least 1 250 hectares will be put under irrigation.
The completion of the dam highlights Government’s investments in key and strategic water bodies around the country.
More than $1 billion was committed to the construction of three dams — Marovanyati (complete), Causeway Dam near Marondera (80 percent) and Chivhu Dam (30 percent) — in the 2020 Budget.
It represents a significant turnaround as economic reforms have enabled the Government to free up resources for capital projects, where previously a huge chunk was chewed up by recurrent expenses such as civil servants’ salaries.
Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) corporate communications and marketing manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga told The Sunday Mail that work was progressing well despite lockdown restrictions caused by coronavirus.
“The dams are at various stages of completion, with Marovanyati Dam complete and set for commissioning anytime.
“Only minor works to tidy the place remain outstanding. Work has already commenced for the establishment of irrigation schemes to benefit from Marovanyati Dam, which is currently holding in excess of 30 million cubic metres of water,” she said.
“Construction work is underway at those dams given completion priority under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), though progress has also not been spared the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions.”
While Causeway Dam is 80 percent complete, it is now reportedly capable of impounding water “should the rainy season commence”.
Government plans to complete the water body — located 35 kilometres east of Marondera along the Macheke River — by year-end.
Upon completion, the dam will not only supply the new Marondera University of Agricultural Science and Technology and neighbouring farms, but local farmers and villagers as well.
Notable progress has also been made on Gwayi-Shangani Dam, which is set to be the country’s third-largest dam after Tugwi Mukosi and Mutirikwi, as it is now 39 percent complete, with eight meters out of the envisaged 27-metres high dam wall already completed. Progress at Semwa Dam in Rushinga is at 39 percent.
Chivhu Dam (35 percent) is expected to be complete by the end of next year.
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.
Electricity will be generated from the projects. There are other investments in dams in different parts of the country.
“The construction of Silverstroom Dam in Muzarabani (Mashonaland Central) has commenced, with preliminary works such as the opening of access roads to the dam site and the construction of project offices and staff accommodation already advanced,” said Mrs Munyonga.
“Construction work is also underway at Bindura Dam in Mashonaland Central, with overall progress standing at 38 percent. Other dams whose construction is set to begin or resume in the short term are Tuli-Manyange in Matabeleland South together with the Dande Dam and Tunnel Project.”
Of the $1,8 billion allocated for dams in the 2020 Budget, Gwayi Shangani Dam got $400 million; Causeway Dam ($128 million); Chivhu Dam ($192 million); Kunzwi Dam ($259 million); Semwa Dam ($216 million); and other dams ($205 million).
According to a recent presentation on progress of economic and structural reforms made by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, Government is also working on water bodies for urban areas.
Boreholes will be drilled across the country.
Buoyed by budget surpluses, Zimbabwe, which has not been receiving financial support from international financiers for the past 20 years, is using its own resources to bankroll major infrastructure projects in agriculture, health and roads, among others.