The Chinese contractor in charge with construction of the Gwayi Shangani Dam in Matabeleland North Province resumed work on earlier on this week after Treasury availed $5m towards the project.
This is following the suspension of work by the contractor in four years back due to lack of funding.
Zinwa public relations manager Mrs. Marjory Munyonga said the China Water and Electric Corporation was back on site and already crushing stones for concrete works.
Mrs. Munyonga said more resources will be availed as the project picks.
Gwayi-Shangani, which will be Zimbabwe’s third largest water reservoir after Tokwe-Mukosi and Lake Mutirikwi, is a major component of the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, considered as the long term solution to Bulawayo’s water challenges.
With a holding capacity of 635m cubic metres of water, the Gwayi-Shangani Dam will be the largest water body in Matabeleland North Province. Upon completion, the dam, which is on the confluence of Gwayi and Shangani rivers, is projected to bring about a lot of socio-economic transformation for surrounding communities and other parts of the drought prone Matabeleland North Province.
The dam will also have the capacity to generate six mega-watts of electricity. The resumption of work at the dam and its subsequent completion are among the key benchmarks Government set for the Infrastructure and Utilities Cluster under the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.
Approximately $90m is required to complete the Gwayi-Shangani Dam project, which is also expected to promote agricultural enterprises. President Mugabe recently commissioned Zimbabwe’s largest inland water body, Tokwe-Mukosi Dam in Chivi south, which is already 70% full, has a capacity of 1,8 Bn cubic metres.
Tokwe-Mukosi, located in the drought-prone southern Masvingo, was financed by Government at a cost of $260m.