The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Satur­day, Septem­ber 3, 1966 — A mod­ern Colos­sus is ris­ing from the bed of the Umz­ing­wane River — a few feet from where the Bush­men once peered from their caves.

It is the Si­lal­abuhwa Dam, with 18,000 cu­bic yards of con­crete and 80 tonnes of steel in In­siza Tribal Trust Land. Africans stand be­fore it in awe while it as­sumes its mas­sive size — 70ft high and 1 400ft long.

When it is com­pleted in Novem­ber, canals will be built and wa­ter will flow on to bar­ren land, rav­aged by three years of drought. The Gov­ern­ment hopes to have 1 000 Africans farm­ing maize win­ter crops and cot­ton through flood ir­ri­ga­tion on two-acre plots each, when the scheme reaches its peak in sev­eral years. It is hoped to have 200 Africans each on two-acre plots next year. The num­ber of farm­ers should in­crease by 200 a year. The £255 000 dam, 24 miles from Fi­l­abusi, will also guar­an­tee wa­ter sup­plies to the ce­ment fac­tory at Colleen Bawn and the food fac­to­ries at West Ni­chol­son.

Euro­pean farm­ers have ap­plied for wa­ter rights, while the Gee­long Weir, 17 miles down­stream from the dam, which sup­plies Colleen Bawn and West Ni­chol­son, will be as­sured of reg­u­lar sup­plies. The Si­lal­abuhwa Dam was be­gun in July last year. It takes its name from a Lozi word mean­ing grass in be­tween the two gran­ite flanks of the dam. A spokesman for the Min­istry of Wa­ter De­vel­op­ment said the dam will sup­ply 13 500 000 gal­lons of wa­ter a day as an av­er­age for any sea­son and have a sur­face are of 1100 acres.

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