Committee happy with water project

THE ADVISORY committee on the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP) says it is impressed by the progress at Gwayi-Shangani Dam site, which is meant to alleviate Bulawayo’s continued water woes.

Blondie Ndebele

The Gwayi-Shangani Dam, the first phase of the multi-billion MZWP, will be the core project before the dam is connected to a Bulawayo pipeline and thereafter to the Zambezi River pipeline.

Speaking during a tour of the site, MZWP advisory council chairman Donald Khumalo said the area had changed from what they had seen a week earlier.

“When we got here last week, we were very impressed, but not to the same magnitude as we are now,” he said.

“There is quite a lot of activity happening here, considering the fact that these people are owed (money in outstanding payments).

“We did not have confidence in our contractors before, but now they have proved that they know their work.”

Much of the activity at the site centred on blasting. On the other side, the construction of the reservoir was underway.

Dam site engineer Dominic Jukwa said they were expecting to finish blasting and removing debris from the dam site by next week so that they start building the banks before the rainy season.

“In September we will start to do 24-hour shifts, so that when the rains come, we would have done something and when they are gone we would just remove the waste and proceed,” he said.

The contractor in charge of the construction of Gwayi-Shangani Dam, China International Water and Electric, moved on site in January.
Jukwa said they were going to meet the 2015 deadline should the project get enough funding.

“The only thing that can make us meet a three-year deadline is funding. As we speak, our contractors have not been paid yet,” he said.

MZWP was mooted in 1912 and successive governments have failed to complete the project formore than 100 years.

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