Govt: Accord full cooperation to consultant
Italian Firm, Studio Pietrangeli Consulting Engineers, which comes to the country amid great repute, having worked successfully in a number of African and overseas countries, has won a bid to undertake a feasibility study into the construction of the muchawaited Nondvo Dam.
Dubbed the Mbabane - Manzini multipurpose dam, the Nondvo Dam is expected to ease water unavailability pressures especially in the country’s major cities as experienced during the recent El Nino induced drought and thus avail water in the Mbabane – Manzini development corridor. The feasibility study is funded to the tune of E20 million and is expected to run for the next two years starting from the beginning of next month. The project is jointly funded by government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) working in joint collaboration with the African Water Facility and the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF).
This was revealed by Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy Winnie Stewart during the launch of the feasibility study at the Mountain Inn in Mbabane yesterday.
Of note is that the dam will not only provide opportunities for water supply alone through the provision of clean and portable water to the communities around the above corridor, but could also tap into the fields of hydropower generation and irrigation.
The Nondvo Dam will be located in the Lusushwana River Basin, downstream the Luphohlo Dam on a smaller stream called the Nondvo River at Siphocosini. The feasibility study will investigate the pre-feasibility scoping whereby alternative water solutions for the supply of the two cities are to be explored; the feasibility and design studies of the long-term solution which will include the hydrological analysis, geological and geotechnical analysis; innie Stewart, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, expects full cooperation towards the appointed consultant from all stakeholders in the undertaking of the dam’s feasibility study.
The PS, in her closing remarks during the launch of the study yesterday, issued a warning to all stakeholders to ensure that they do not withhold any information required by the consultant when doing its work. She said everyone should avail any data required and if they do not have it they should come out clearly, thus avoiding sending the consultant from pillar to post. She also pledged that her office will be open in case the consultant hits a snag in performing its work. “The ministry looks forward to a good working relationship and is anxiously look forward to the final project results. The Department of Water Affairs will be working with the consultant to ensure the achievement of the intended results. This is but the first of many meetings to be held during the implementation of the Nondvo Dam Dam feasibility study project. We also appreciate the support and acceptance that we have received from the community of Siphocosini, where the project will be implemented,” she said. and the exact location of dam, dam size, potential for water supply over the years.
Led by the firm’s [roject Manager Antonio Brasca, the SP team, also comprising Environmental Specialist Franco Terragni and Business Development Specialist Anne McAuley, boast of experience in the construction of dams worldwide spanning over 50 years and engineering expertise spanning close to a century.
McAuley disclosed that they have been involved in the construction of 200 dams around the world, 18 of which have been hydro-power generation dams.
She said they are a record breaking firm having designed and constructed the Little Belles Dam in Ethiopia over a record breaking six months. Brasca said they will be bringing to the country their full expertise and that they will be hands-on throughout the two-year period.
“We expect to have compiled a draft scoping report within three months. We also expect that an environmental survey will be conducted soon and we will also be mindful of the climate change possible effects on the dam. We will keep an open mind as we collect our data so as to examine all the possible alternatives to this project,” said Brasca.
PS Stewart, on the other hand, explained that the Italian Consulting Firm was chosen through a competitive international bidding exercise where a total of 38 firms had shown interest.
“We take this opportunity to congratulate Studio Pietrangeli for having been chosen for this assignment. This is a very important national project, which will investigate different water supply options to avail water to the Mbabane – Manzini development corridor. It is from these options that the consultant will be advised on one option which will be taken to feasibility stage. The ministry expresses greatest appreciation for the project’s financial support, which will go a long way in ensuring that the country fulfils its vision to achieve 100 per cent water coverage for its citizens by the year 2022,” said the PS.
Stewart also highlighted that her ministry notes that water shortages that currently prevail within the country more especially the impact this has had in the country’s major cities.
“The ministry is advancing programmes to ensure that the country is water secure and the current project is one of the initiatives to address the water challenges in the country. We are grateful for the rains that we have just received as they have improved the national water shortage capacities. Currently, most of our dams are approaching full capacity with the exception of one or two; the Mnjoli Dam being one of them,” Stewart said.
The consultant is expected to compile its report in December, next year.
IT STARTS NOW: Ministry of Natural Resources PS Winnie Stewart making her remarks during the Nondvo Dam feasibility study launch at the Mountain Inn yesterday. Looking on are Studio Pietrangeli Consulting Engineers' Antonio Brasca and Swaziland Water Services Corporation (SWSC) Managing Director Peter Bhembe.