PRESIDENT Mnangagwa returns to Matabeleland North this week to commission the Epping Forest boreholes in Nyamandlovu as well as officiate at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Gwayi-Shangani pipeline.
In July last year, the President toured synergised projects that harmonise coal and coke production, gas and electricity generation in Hwange.
In October the President was at Lupane State University (LSU) for the 11th graduation ceremony in Lupane, Matabeleland North, where he also commissioned US$11 million female students’ hostels, kitchen and dining hall complex.
Before commissioning the new buildings, the President laid the foundation stone for a Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, that the university intends to construct soon.
In August, President Mnangagwa was in Victoria Falls where he launched the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy as he led the re-start of the critical sector.
In December, he returned to Victoria Falls to officially confer the prestigious city status to the resort town.
On Thursday, Matabeleland North will host the President as his Government steps up efforts towards the completion of the massive Gwayi-Shangani Dam project before the end of next year.
The dam, located in Hwange District, is expected to permanently address Bulawayo’s perennial water challenges.
It is also set to benefit the districts of Binga and Lupane, as well as communities staying along the proposed pipeline which will be constructed with a series of booster water pumping stations along the way to Bulawayo.
Government has this year allocated $4,5 billion towards Gwayi-Shangani Dam project. The dam will have a net holding capacity of 650 million cubic metres of water, which is 1,8 times bigger than the capacity of Bulawayo’s five supply dams.
Government has since floated a tender for survey works for the 260km water pipeline route from Gwayi-Shangani Dam to Bulawayo.
Epping Forest is one of the major projects undertaken by Government to augment the city’s water supplies and last year Treasury released $205 million for the rehabilitation of the boreholes.
Pumping water from Nyamandlovu aquifer boreholes is expected to ease Bulawayo’s water crisis and deliver an additional 10 megalitres (ML) per day to the city’s water supplies.
Clearly, no other province bears more testimony of the hard work and commitment to uplifting the lives of locals under the Second Republic than Matabeleland North.
This province, once marginalised under the First Republic, is on the verge of becoming the country’s economic hub.
Better developed provinces like Bulawayo, will now rely heavily on Matabeleland North.
Water, tourism, gas, electricity and coal. The economy is in Matabeleland North.
Devolution could not have come at a better time. What’s stopping Matabeleland North from having the highest GDP in the country? What stops Victoria Falls from being the richest city, Lupane the richest town or Hwange the richest mining town?
The people of Matabeleland North must embrace the change that is coming and be up to the challenge that is already on their shoulders.