Construction of the US $4.5bn Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Scheme (BGHES) in Southern Africa is set to begin soon. The on-going Environmental and Social Impact Assessment is set to be complete in 11th Dec to pave way for the implementation of the project.
A consortium of Chinese and U.S. companies has already been awarded the tender to build the 2,400MW Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Scheme (BGHES) under a Build, Operate and Transfer funding model. Power generated from the plant will be shared equally by Zimbabwe and Zambia under the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA).
The authority recently announced that it will give equal job opportunities to citizens of Zimbabwe and Zambia when construction begins. This was after reports emerged that some unscrupulous individuals in Zimbabwe had started “recruiting” personnel for the forthcoming work at a fee.
Illegal registration of workers
According to ZRA chief executive Munyaradzi Munodawafa, the said registration is reportedly taking place in some riparian communities within the project area in Zimbabwe. “People purporting to be recruitment agents appointed by the authority or the developer are illegally registering and collecting monies from unsuspecting members of the public especially those that are resident in Hwange, Jambezi, and other villages and townships. I advise inhabitants of the said riparian communities to be vigilant and guard against such people and report them to law enforcement agencies,” he said.
He further added that all employment opportunities, that is, professional, skilled and unskilled will be publicized through the mass media and traditional leadership in the project area when the project construction works approach commencement.
Zambezi River Authority (ZRA)
The Zambezi River Authority Act was passed in 1987 simultaneously in the two states of Zambia and Zimbabwe dissolving the Central African Power Corporation (CAPCO). The authority has the responsibility of the operation and maintenance of Kariba Dam Complex, investigation and development of new dam sites on the Zambezi River and analysing and disseminating hydrological and environmental information pertaining to the Zambezi River and Lake Kariba.