Project to be completed end this year

By Netsai Muleya

16

GOVERNMENT has moved the deadline for completion of construction of Lake Gwayi/ Shangani in
Mabale in Hwange District to end of the year.
The project was first mooted in 1912. Since then, successive governments have been working on it
without properly getting the completion date right by the Second Republic has insisted in giving the
massive project priority.
Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Developments Minister, Anxious Masuka who recently
visited the project site to have an on the ground appreciation of progress that had been made on the
construction of the dam so far, confirmed the shifting of the deadline.
During the tour the Minister gave an assurance on the construction and said the dam would be
completed and functional by the 2023/ 2024 summer cropping season.
‘We (as Government) are working hard to see what works were needed to be done, and as well as
resources that were required so that the project is completed ahead of the 2023-2024 cropping
season,” said Masuka.
The dam wall, upon completion, is targeted to be 40 metres high. Currently the wall is 20 metres
high. Thus, construction of the dam was now 50 percent complete.
“I am here to assess progress going on at the Lake Gwayi /Shangani Dam, and plan for 2023 as
indicated by the President that this project must be completed this year,” said Masuka.
The dam is on the confluence of Gwayi and Shangani rivers.
The dam is a project run by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) and is being funded
through aid from the China Water and Electric Corporation. Upon completion, it is anticipated that
the dam’s water capacity would be 650 million cubic metres.
The dam project is part of an almost century-old National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project
(NMZWP). It is expected to provide a permanent solution to Bulawayo’s water challenges and as well
as a source of some irrigation schemes that shall be established along the water pipeline from the
dam to Bulawayo.
Sources in Zinwa have indicated that some water offtake sites would be put in place for
establishment of irrigation schemes for communities that live along the Gwai/Shamgani Dam-
Bulawayo water pipeline.

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