Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT has floated a tender for the construction of the 260km Gwayi-Shangani Dam-Bulawayo pipeline, which marks the implementation of the Second Phase of the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (NMZWP).
The Gwayi-Shangani Dam construction and completion have been made a top priority and this year Government allocated $4,5 billion towards the project, which is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
The dam will have a holding capacity of 650 million cubic metres of water, which is slightly bigger than the total capacity of Bulawayo’s six supply dams.
The massive water project, which is set to address Bulawayo’s perennial water crisis, is being implemented in three phases with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) engineering the project.
Construction works done at the dam site so far are at 39 percent. The construction of the pipeline from the dam to Bulawayo and pump stations along the pipeline will be followed by the construction of the bulk water abstraction infrastructure on the Zambezi River and linkage to the Gwayi-Shangani Dam.
Government is inviting bids for the construction of the pipeline route from the dam to Bulawayo.
Local contractors that will be engaged will be divided into sections to speed up the works. The dam is expected to start holding water by the end of the year.
In a statement, the Ministry of Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement yesterday said it was opening up the tender for the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam-Bulawayo pipeline.
The bidding is only open to local companies.
“The Government of Zimbabwe is implementing the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project which has three phases. Phase One is the ongoing construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam and Phase Two is the construction of a 260km pipeline and pumping stations linking the Gwayi-Shangani Dam to Bulawayo,” read the statement.
“The Third Phase is the construction of the bulk water abstraction infrastructure on the Zambezi River and a linkage to the Gwayi-Shangani Dam. The Government of Zimbabwe allocated resources to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement to commence the implementation of Phase Two during the 2021 financial year.”
According to the statement, Zinwa as the engineer for the project, is inviting suitable companies to construct the pipeline.
“Following the groundbreaking ceremony officiated by His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa on 25 February 2021 to mark the commencement of Phase Two of the project, Zinwa, the engineer of the project, is inviting tenders from established and experienced contractors who registered with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) in line with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDPA) Act and Disposal of Public Assets (General) Regulations (Statutory Instrument No. 5 of 2018), for the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam-Bulawayo pipeline,” read the statement.
The ministry said it will be compulsory for prospective bidders to visit the site where the pipeline will be constructed between May 13 and June 16, 2021.
Prospective bidders will be expected to meet on the stated dates at Nkulumane Complex along Masiyephambili Drive in Bulawayo where they will be led to Cowdray Park where the pipeline ends and proceed to Nyamandlovu up to Gwayi Shangani Dam site.
The Ministry said tender bids will be closed on June 16, 2021 at 10AM.
Gwayi-Shangani Dam is located in Hwange District and upon completion is set to also benefit Binga and Lupane districts, Bulawayo as well as communities along the pipeline.
Plans are underway to establish a green belt between Bulawayo and the dam as communities staying along the pipeline will have access to water for irrigation.
The completion of the dam and the pipeline is viewed as the permanent solution to Bulawayo’s water crisis.
The city’s residents have for years been subjected to water rationing due to inadequate water in the city’s supply dams which has been blamed on the effects of climate change.
Bulawayo gets its water from Insiza, Mtshabezi, Inyankuni, Umzingwane, lower and upper Ncema in the Umzingwane catchment which due to successive drought years have not had significant inflows but the situation has dramatically changed this year following good rains. — @mashnets.