Govt: Ac­cord full co­op­er­a­tion to con­sul­tant

Observer on Saturday - - News - Sto­ries by Bodwa Mbingo

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.

(Pic: Bodwa Mbingo)

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.

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