President Emmerson Mnangagwa has assured the nation that the government will avail all the necessary funding to ensure that the construction of the Gwayi Shangani dam is completed by December next year.

He made the remarks at Nabushome Primary School in Hwange after an assessment tour of the project.

The construction of the Gwayi Shangani dam, which is seen as a permanent solution to Bulawayo’s water challenges, had been suspended as a result of flooding at the Gwayi river since the beginning of the rain season.

The dam is also set to benefit communities in Hwange, Lupane and Binga as the districts face similar water challenges with Bulawayo.

The project, whose total cost for the contractor is $121,7 million, was allocated $23,3 million in the 2018 national budget to enable the current stage to be carried out.

President Mnangagwa told Zanu PF supporters that he will personally ensure that more funds are availed for the project which will also have over million fish under the Command Fisheries Programme.

“From the budget presented in December, we allocated some money so that construction begins. I have promised the traditional leaders that I will make sure that more money is released so that the construction is completed next year,” said Cde Mnangagwa.

During an assessment tour of the site, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) Director-Hydrological Services, Engineer Taurai Maurupira told the President that the project will also incorporate a hydro-electric power station which will generate at least 10 megawatts of power to be used in channeling water to Bulawayo.

“10 megawatts is only the minimum we can generate. We can do more but that is also subject to the amount of rainfall we receive every year. We will also be having sub-stations along the pipeline to boost power along the way when we channel water to Bulawayo,” he said.

The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Cde Oppah Muchinguri – Kashiri said part of power generated at the dam will benefit communities as a means of bringing electricity to the rural population.

“This has been the norm your Excellency. We have said that in each of the communities where we have this kind of a project, local communities must be electrified this way,” she explained.  

Currently, the contractor is carrying out ancillary and preparatory works on the site, as well as procuring necessary additional plants and equipment.

According to the 2018 programme, the dam will be constructed up to 30 metres height out of a total of 72 metres, while part of the outlets will also be constructed.