Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
GOVERNMENT has availed $21,7 million to complete outstanding civils works at the Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Matabeleland North Province, a Cabinet Minister has said.
The project which is touted as the solution to Bulawayo’s perennial water problems is also expected to promote agricultural production in Matabeleland.
The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said work on the site has commenced following an injection of $5 million which is part of the availed funds for the project which is set to ease perennial water challenges in Matabeleland region.
Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri said this in Beitbridge on Thursday during the commissioning of a new water treatment plant in Beitbridge town by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko.
The new Beitbridge pump was wholly funded by Government through the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP).
Cde Muchinguri Kashiri said Government was also working on improving and upgrading other water and sanitation facilities countrywide.
“Under the Government’s economic blueprint- Zim-Asset, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate is tasked to put up urban water supply and sanitation infrastructure inorder to improve water supplies and waste water disposal systems in town and cities,” said Cde Muchinguri Kashiri.
“I am glad to note that my team in the ministry and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) have successfully completed the Beitbridge project. Our next big stop is Gwayi –Shangani dam where Government has already disbursed $21,7 million towards outstanding amounts and resumption of work.”
In February, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa said some of the resources that were earmarked for the Gwayi-Shangani Dam were diverted to complete the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam in Masvingo due to the threats of floods and since the project was concluded, focus has shifted to the Matabeleland North dam.
In September last year, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko said the project was critical to Matabeleland region and the country as a whole as it would create a greenbelt and feed into Bulawayo’s industrial growth.
VP Mphoko said it was time to deliver on the project.
As an agriculture based economy, Zimbabwe stands to benefit immensely from projects like Gwayi-Shangani, which could boost production of agro-processing industries and increase earnings from exports.