George Maponga, Masvingo Bureau
The Tokwe-Mukosi Dam to be commissioned today by President President Mugabe is expected to create thousands of jobs in both the tourism and agricultural sectors.
The dam, the country’s largest inland water body was completed last December and has a capacity of 1,8 billion cubic metres.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Senator Shuvai Mahofa yesterday said the entire province was eagerly awaiting the commissioning of the dam.
She said the drought-stricken province would never be the same after the coming on board of the new dam with a potential to irrigate more than 25 000 hectares.
‘’We are very excited that tomorrow His Excellency the President, Cde R.G Mugabe will commission Tokwe Mukosi Dam that will transform the social and economic landscape of our province because of its vast irrigation potential,” she said.
“Masvingo will never be the same following the completion of this dam and the province is destined for greater heights.’’
Sen Mahofa said besides turning vast swathes of arid parts of southern Masvingo into a perennial greenbelt, Tokwe Mukosi Dam would end the scourge of hunger and unemployment in the province.
‘’We want to thank President Mugabe and the Zanu-PF Government for tirelessly looking for resources to complete Tokwe Mukosi Dam at a time when Zimbabwe was grappling with illegal sanctions imposed by the West,” she said.
“Yes, it’s a big day for Masvingo because there will also be an official launch of the dualisation project.”
Tokwe Mukosi Dam is more than 70 percent full, with collected water translating to over 1,2 billion cubic metres.
This makes the dam the biggest holder of water in Zimbabwe.
Besides opening 25 000ha to year-round irrigation, Tokwe Mukosi Dam will also provide irrigation water to Lowveld cane plantations, with the country’s sugar output expected to increase by 15 percent.
A $400 million ethanol plant is also planned at the Nuanetsi Ranch in Mwenezi banking on water from the dam, while a mega-national park is set to be created in the dam’s immediate environments.