Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube, has allocated the Gwayi-Shangani Dam project ZWL$4, 5 billion in the 2021 national budget presented in Parliament, Thursday.
Situated in Matabeleland North and 40 percent complete, Gwayi-Shangani Dam, which has stalled for years is one of the interventions of addressing Bulawayo’s perennial water problems which reached fever-pitch this year.
Ncube in his 2021 budget set aside ZWL$10, 7 billion for dam projects around the country with Gwayi-Shangani getting the bulk of that amount.
“This marks the first phase of the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, meant to provide a long-term solution to the water challenges facing the City of Bulawayo, whilst also creating a green belt that will benefit communities along the pipeline.”
The financial resources, Ncube said, would go towards the construction of 18m of the dam wall, installation of precast concrete formwork for drainage galleries, construction of spillway apron and outlet works tunnel.
He added the money would also be used for the construction of 46 metres of the dam to reach full height of 72 metres, construction of power plant and outlet works.
Dam projects, namely Bindura, Causeway, Gwayi-Shangani, Chivhu, Dande and Tunnel, Marovanyati, Tuli-Manyange, Semwa, Vungu and Silverstroom are at various stages of completion, with funding from the fiscus.
“Government has also allocated ZWL$535 million to ZINWA (Zimbabwe National Water Authority) to enable the parastatal to immediately undertake detailed designs, including commencement of works on the conveyancing infrastructure to Bulawayo,” said Ncube.
“Taking into account existing water challenges for Harare, the government has also set aside ZWL$250 million to enable commencement works for the Kunzvi Water Project.”
He added: “To fully exploit the potential of existing water bodies, ZWL$200 million has been allocated towards water use master plans for Gwayi-Shangani, Marovanyati, Dande, Semwa, Kunzvi and Causeway Dams that will ensure communities immediately benefit from such investment.”