Zinwa resumes construction of dams

Tokwe Mukosi Dam Wall

The weirs and small dams will allow for the storage of water during summer for use in the dry season.

“Over 500 sites for weirs have since been identified. Of late the construction of the weirs had been slowed by high river flows and the low participation of communities who were still focusing on harvesting their crops,” Zinwa said.

The water authority urged legislators who had collected cement for the construction of the weirs to make it available so work can commence.

Weirs that are now completed include Mutasa, Bunganirwe, Nyamasara, Chimokono, Fombe-Nyakachebve, Mutorahuku in Manicaland and in Mashonaland Central Gomo Dakudzwa.

In Mashonaland East there is Mukate, Musanhi and Munwahuku that are complete while in Mashonaland West there are no completed weirs.

“Gudhe in Masvingo Province, Norwood in Matabeleland South and Navata and Ndawana weirs in the Midlands Province are 100 percent complete.

“Other dams are at various construction stages while some are yet to start,” according to Zinwa.

Construction of weirs began in 2017 after the 2015/2016 drought which saw nearly 4,1 million people being food insecure.

Water stored in the weirs will be used for irrigation of fields, in dip tanks, provision of drinking water for livestock as well as meeting other communal water requirements in order to boost water and food security.

In January, Treasury availed $80 million for the construction of dams after some were damaged during the floods that occurred during the 2016/2017 rainy season.

According to Water minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, the money would be used for repairs as there were 108 dams that were threatening to burst.

“We also want weirs to be constructed. We set aside $3 million to purchase cement, but communities have to come in with their labour and also provide us with the necessary building equipment that is needed like concrete and river sand, among others, so that we start harvesting water on every perennial river in preparation of any droughts that can come,” she said. DailyNews