Rushinga wa­ter cri­sis: Govt moves in

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Central & West News - Fun­gai Lu­pande Mashona­land Cen­tral Bureau

GOV­ERN­MENT has availed $40 mil­lion for the con­struc­tion of Semwa Dam in Rushinga and $900 000 for the con­struc­tion of a wa­ter pipe­line from Chimhanda to Rushinga Shop­ping Cen­tre to al­le­vi­ate the crit­i­cal short­age of wa­ter sup­ply in the area.

ZINWA act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive En­gi­neer Tau­rai Mau­rikira said the con­struc­tion of a pipe­line was ex­pected to be com­plete in the next two weeks.

“The long-term so­lu­tion to Rushinga-Mt Dar­win wa­ter sup­ply chal­lenges is, how­ever, the con­struc­tion of Semwa Dam, which has a ca­pac­ity of 265 mil­lion cu­bic me­tres and Trea­sury has re­sponded quickly and availed $40 mil­lion,” he said.

“The dam will be ca­pa­ble of ir­ri­gat­ing 10 000 hectares. The dam project is go­ing to cost $141 mil­lion and we don’t have fund­ing chal­lenges. We ex­pect the dam to be com­plete by 2020.

“Drilling of bore­holes in crit­i­cal areas in this dis­trict is one of strate­gies in re­sponse to the wa­ter cri­sis.

“Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of bro­ken down bore­holes is the sec­ond in­ter­ven­tion and con­struc­tion of weirs through­out the dis­trict.

“We are now try­ing to re­move the silt that ac­cu­mu­lated over the years and this is a re­sult of bad prac­tices in soil con­ser­va­tion and agri­cul­ture.

“It is costly to carry out such an ex­er­cise and em­pha­sis must be on soil con­ser­va­tion and catch­ment pro­tec­tion.”

Di­rec­tor of wa­ter re­sources plan­ning and man­age­ment in the Min­istry of Lands, Agri­cul­ture, Wa­ter, Cli­mate and Ru­ral Re­set­tle­ment Mr Ti­nayeshe Mu­tazu said de-sil­ta­tion of Mukuhu­nunu Dam in ward 19 had started.

Gov­ern­ment has also in­structed ZINWA and the Dis­trict Devel­op­ment Fund to drill 50 bore­holes, two in each of the 25 wards in the area.

“We have mo­bilised re­sources quickly to come to this dam site whose sil­ta­tion level had reached two me­tres,” said Mr Mu­tazu.

“Our hope is that apart from pro­vid­ing safe drink­ing wa­ter for peo­ple, live­stock will also get wa­ter and not con­tinue to get struck in the silt and mud.

“Gov­ern­ment is work­ing with UNICEF and DFID un­der the ru­ral wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion pro­gramme and 350 bore­holes have been re­ha­bil­i­tated, which will go a long way in al­le­vi­at­ing the cri­sis.”

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