Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Zimbabwe Government Engages Tongaat Hulett Over Tokwe-Mukosi Master Plan
August 11, 2016
From George Maponga in Masvingo
Zimbabwe Herald

Government has engaged Lowveld sugar producer Tongaat Hulett for assistance in the crafting of an irrigation master plan to be used upon completion of the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam in December this year. The dam will have capacity to irrigate 25 000 hectares in arid parts of southern Masvingo. Tokwe-Mukosi is about 96 percent complete with all the outstanding work due to be finished before year-end, allowing the dam to harvest rain water in the 2016/17 season.About $200 million is required to develop irrigation infrastructure on the 25 000ha to be irrigated by the dam’s water.

Environment, Water and Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri last week revealed that Government was engaging Tongaat Hulett for assistance to ensure Tokwe-Mukosi water could be immediately harnessed for irrigation upon the dam’s completion.

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said Cabinet had already authorised plans for the development of an irrigation master plan at Tokwe-Mukosi so that communities around the dam immediately benefit after its completion in December this year.

“Cabinet has already given the green-light for an irrigation master plan at Tokwe-Mukosi to be developed so that once the dam is complete, we will immediately start to benefit from the dam’s water.

“Our target is for the dam to start capturing rains that will fall in the forthcoming rain season,’’ she said.

“We are engaging Tongaat Hulett and other private players so that an irrigation master plan at Tokwe-Mukosi can be developed.

“We are optimistic that we will come out with something such that by the time the dam is completed, our people will start to benefit,’’ she added.

Top on the Government’s list for Tokwe-Mukosi water beneficiaries, said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri, are the 3 000 displaced families that were relocated at the Nuanetsi Ranch in Mwenezi.

Government has already awarded a Chinese firm, China Nan-Chang Engineering Company, a $12 million contract to clear over 6 000 hectares, where irrigation plots for the flood victims will be developed at Nuanetsi.

Funding constraints have however delayed the project’s take-off.

Government recently raised $65 million after floating Treasury Bills-through the Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe-to finance the completion of Tokwe-Mukosi Dam.

The contractor, Salini Impregilio, requires payment in euros and Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri revealed that at least three million euros was required monthly to make sure there was no work stoppage at Tokwe-Mukosi from now until the dam’s completion in December.

Tokwe-Mukosi is billed to become Zimbabwe’s largest inland water body with a capacity of 1,8 billion cubic metres and is being wholly funded by the Government of Zimbabwe. The total project cost is expected to surpass $255 million.

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