The construction of the Tuli-Manyange dam in Matabeleland South has been stalled by lack of funding. The dam, once completed, is expected to solve water challenges and food insecurity in the Gwanda district.
Briefing ministers and senior government officials during a tour of the dam last week, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) site manager, Engineer Paul Dengu said although the constructor is on site, progress is slow due to lack of funds.
The USD$87 million project has so far been allocated $43 million which is yet to be disbursed.
“Funds permitting we intend to complete this massive project by December 2022 but currently we are financially constrained. This is a PSIP project which is fully funded by the government and will definitely solve the national food insecurity once it is complete. The intention is to irrigate more than 5000 hectares of land. Besides irrigation the dam will also service Gwanda and all surrounding growth points,” said Eng Dengu.
In response, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in charge of Monitoring and Implementation of Government Programmes, Dr Jorum Gumbo promised to address them at the earliest possible time.
“We talking about challenges faced by a certain project don’t be afraid to name the responsible authority for funding. If it’s government just say that, so that from here I will go to the minister of finance and tell him to release the funds for the progress of the project. However, I am promising the people of Gwanda that the government will speed up the construction of this project which will in-turn transform the livelihoods of Mat South as a province,” said Dr Gumbo.
If completed, the dam is expected to service Vela, Guyu Business Centre, Ntalale Business Centre, Chelesa Business Centre, Sizhubane Barracks, Manama Mission and Business Centre, Sebasa and Mankonkoni irrigation schemes.
The project is being spearheaded Zinwa and Chinese company, China International Water and Electricity company which has a 14 member team of their engineers and electricians at the site.
About 140 Zimbabwean nationals were hired for menial jobs but locals who spoke to CITE complained that the bulk of them are not from the province.
“This is a very good project that will certainly transform our livelihoods upon it’s completion. But what is boggling our minds is that 90 percent of the so-called locals are mainly from Masvingo province which is not in line with the devolution agenda,” quipped Vusumuzi Nare from Ntepe village.
Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology