The President, Cde Robert Mugabe has officially commissioned Zimbabwe’s largest inland water body, the Tokwe-Mukosi in Masvingo Province.
Addressing thousands of people at the commissioning, Cde Mugabe said he is impressed and overwhelmed that the construction of the dam was finally completed despite having taken long due to financial challenges.
“This joyous moment demonstrates the government commitment to ensure its people get enough food. The construction of this dam started way back in 1998 and due to economic challenges it took time but today we are here to witness the commissioning of the Tokwe-Mukosi dam. The dam was completed last year. Makorokoto, amhlope,” said President Mugabe.
Tokwe-Mukosi dam has the capacity to hold 1.8 billion cubic meters of water at its full capacity.
President Mugabe also said the dam will create thousands of jobs, both in the upstream and downstream agricultural sector adding that a hydro-power plant to generate electricity will be erected at the dam with a capacity to produce 15 megawatts of power.
He said this is in line with government’s policy that wherever a dam is constructed, there should be a hydro-power station to boost the country’s power generation.
“The Tokwe-Mukosi dam comes in handy with 25000 hectares of irrigation land in the lowveld. This project will create thousands of jobs in upstream and downstream of the agriculture sector,” he said.
The President however urged people in Masvingo to avoid silting the dam, saying all benefits expected will be shattered.
“The plan to construct the US$300 million dam was mooted three decades ago and the completion of Tokwe-Mukosi a monumental achievement realised through hard work and determination, hence avoid silting the dam to enjoy the full benefits which comes along with this dam,” said Cde Mugabe.
Cde Mugabe added that the dam will boost the agriculture sector and guarantee food security.
“The Tokwe-Mukosi dam come in handy with 25000 hectares of irrigation land to develop some irrigation schemes in Masvingo and the Lowveld region,” said President Mugabe.