dams in zimbabwe.jpgThe Mtshabezi-Umzingwane Pipeline Project, which is considered as the short-term solution to the water problems in Bulawayo, should also benefit adjacent rural communities in Matabeleleland South Province through boosting agricultural activity.

 

This was said by the Governor and Resident Minister for Matabeleland South Province, Cde Angeline Masuku, during a meeting with various stakeholders on the progress made so far on the project.

 

Cde Masuku drew a parallel of the benefits of the Mtshabezi Pipeline Project to its surrounding communities, expressed concern that plans aimed at providing water as well as boost agricultural activity to adjacent rural communities had been shelved for years, to meet the domestic and industrial water needs of Bulawayo.

 

She said nutrition gardens and the 350-hectare Mtshazo Irrigation Scheme were identified as some of the rural development projects that were to be initiated as a result of the existence of the Mtshabezi Pipeline.

 

The Governor called on the Ministry of Water Resources Development and Management not to sideline the local political leadership and other relevant stakeholders in the implementation of the crucial project in order to expedite its completion.  

 

In response, Zinwa’s Water Supply Manager, Mr Stanely Nazambe, conceded that there is need to revisit the initial plan of the project that factored in the needs of the people of Matabeleland South Province.

 

The Mtshabezi Water Project is expected to cost US$25 million. Upon completion, it will see the pipeline feeding water from

Mtshabezi Dam to Umzingwane Dam, which is one of the five dams supplying Bulawayo.

 

In the 2011 budget statement, Finance Minister Tendai Biti allocated US$27.1 million to the Mtshabezi Dam link.