Huge progress on dam: Hail new dis­pen­sa­tion

The Man­ica Post Es­tab­lished 1893

The Manica Post - - Comment & Feedback -

PRES­I­DENT Mnan­gagwa’s ad­min­is­tra­tion must be hailed for its pri­ori­ti­sa­tion and de­sire to com­plete Marowany­ati Dam in Buhera.

The dam project had stalled for the past 10 years de­spite its po­ten­tial to pos­i­tively im­pact ru­ral de­vel­op­ment.

It is Buhera’s flag­ship of hope as its in­tended pur­pose is to pro­vide do­mes­tic, in­dus­trial wa­ter sup­ply to Mu­ram­binda and ir­ri­ga­tion of 3 650ha of agri­cul­tural land.

The con­tract was awarded to China Jiangxi In­ter­na­tional Corporation (CJIC) at a price of Z$2,096,519,660.00 in Au­gust 2002 and con­struc­tion com­menced in Novem­ber 2003 amid pomp and fun-fare. It was ex­pected to be com­plete in 2009, but it stalled in Novem­ber 2007 due to lack of fund­ing.

The vil­lagers, who re­lied on donor-aid, hail the new dis­pen­sa­tion for its vi­sion to ad­dress peren­nial wa­ter short­age in the dis­trict by mo­bil­is­ing ad­e­quate fi­nan­cial re­sources to com­plete the project by the end of the year.

It was al­lo­cated $8.2 mil­lion and Gov­ern­ment has re­li­giously paid more than $19,5m to the CJIC and as­sured the con­trac­tor that more funds will be availed.

Con­struc­tion is in full throt­tle, with the project now at 47 per­cent.

At least $33 mil­lion is re­quired. Im­proved wa­ter avail­abil­ity will en­able the com­mu­nity to es­tab­lish gar­dens to ad­dress food se­cu­rity and nu­tri­tional needs; em­bark on aqua­cul­ture and ir­ri­ga­tion schemes; en­sure ad­e­quate live­stock drink­ing wa­ter sup­plies as well as wash down sup­ply for in­dus­tries, among oth­ers chief ben­e­fits.

Buhera is a drought prone dis­trict, and the gi­gan­tic wa­ter body will store wa­ter when it is more plen­ti­ful in the wet sea­son for use dur­ing the dry sea­son or droughts.

Only a small pro­por­tion of dam wa­ter will come from di­rect rain­fall, there­fore har­ness­ing runoff from the peren­nial Mw­er­i­hari River catch­ment is nec­es­sary.

The scarcity of wa­ter re­sources in Buhera for hu­man, cat­tle, and farm­ing has been se­verely ac­cel­er­ated by neg­a­tive cli­mate change.

This has brought about eco­nomic prob­lems for ru­ral so­ci­ety, as some fields are con­tin­u­ously aban­doned as they can­not be cul­ti­vated with­out ir­ri­ga­tion.

De­mand for fresh wa­ter is very high in Buhera, mak­ing the engi­neer­ing of the dam a vi­tal part of the civil­i­sa­tion.

Cer­tainly, Marovany­ati will be a vi­tal cog in the de­vel­op­ment Buhera — an en­tirely com­mu­nal dis­trict — whose quest for growth is stam­peded by a deadly blend of er­ratic rains and bru­tal dry spell.

The im­pact of in­vest­ing in this gi­gan­tic wa­ter reser­voir and its po­ten­tial to ame­lio­rate de­vel­op­ment and over­haul­ing the agri­cul­tural com­plex­ion of the dis­trict is in­escapable. The fu­ture wealth of Buhera hinges on Marovany­ati Dam and new dis­pen­sa­tion must be ap­plauded for its fu­tur­is­tic vi­sion.

De­mand for wa­ter is a ba­sic hu­man right, and we ap­pre­ci­ate Gov­ern­ment’s sen­si­tiv­ity in this re­gard.

Ir­ri­ga­tion projects span­ning 3 600 hectares are ear­marked on its com­ple­tion. This will cre­ate em­ploy­ment, im­prove food and nu­tri­tional se­cu­rity and help pre­vent the mi­gra­tion of ru­ral peo­ple to the cities.

Ex­pan­sion of Mu­ram­binda into a town en­tails high pop­u­la­tion growth and a cor­re­spond­ing de­mand of wa­ter to equalise ba­sic civic ser­vices — like tap wa­ter, san­i­ta­tion, in­dus­trial use and food pro­duc­tion.

The link be­tween poverty and de­fi­cient wa­ter re­sources is ob­vi­ous.

Buhera is one dis­trict with folks that sur­vive on less than $1,25 per day and this co­in­cides with the num­ber of those with­out ac­cess to multi-pur­pose wa­ter re­sources.

We cel­e­brate the com­ing to fruition of the project.

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