By Staff Reporter
Bulawayo’s perennial water challenges are set to come to an end following the completion of the drilling and equipping of boreholes at Epping Forest in Nyamandlovu by Government.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday commissioned the borehole project as well as officiating at the ground breaking ceremony of the Gwayi –Shangani-Bulawayo pipeline, which is set to improve water supply to Bulawayo City.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the President said access to clean water for all citizens remains his Government’s top priority.
“Access to clean, safe and potable water for all citizens remains a top priority. The Epping Forest-Bulawayo Water Augmentation project, funded by my Government saw the rehabilitation of existing boreholes and the drilling and equipping of ten more boreholes under the project. This timely intervention will deliver a daily average of 10 million litres of water to Bulawayo City,” said the President.
The President said it was his Government’s wish to permanently solve Bulawayo’s perennial water challenges.
“As we move towards the attainment of Vision 2030, it is my administration’s aspirations to have a long term and sustainable solution to the City of Bulawayo’s perennial water challenges. Reliable water supplies and other enablers must position the City as an attractive investment destination and the country’s industrial hub,” said President Mnangagwa.
Speaking of the Gwayi- Shangani –Bulawayo Water Pipeline project, the President said the Gwayi-Shangani Dam would be finished in December this year and was expected to start filling next season, with the 245km pipeline connecting the dam to Bulawayo set to commence pumping next year.
The success of the project will be a fulfillment of a century old dream of permanently solving Bulawayo’s water problems which began in 1912 and is only being made a reality by President Mnangagwa’s administration.
According to President Mnangagwa, the Gwayi- Shangani –Bulawayo Water Pipeline project involves several phases. The first is the Gwayi-Shangani Dam and the pipeline from the dam to Bulawayo, with the second phase being an extended pipeline, which will draw water from the Zambezi River itself.
The first phase of the project, the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, is on course and 40 percent complete with ZWL$4.5 billion allocated for the project in this year’s National Budget.
According to the President, the Government also allocated additional ZWL$535 million towards the start of work on the 245km Gwayi–Bulawayo pipeline whose completion is expected by end of next year, when the dam will be storing water that can be pumped.
After its completion, President Mnangagwa said the pipeline would convey 160 000 mega litres of water to Bulawayo each day, which is adequate for the city to meet its water and sanitation requirements.
The President added that the completion of the Gwayi Shangani Dam would kick-start irrigation projects within the vicinity of the dam.
“In addition, the large volume of water from the project will propel irrigation activities along the pipeline route in parts of Lupane, Tsholotsho and Umguza districts. Matabeleland North will therefore become food secure and an exporter of surplus agricultural produce as well as play host to viable rural industry systems
“The idea of turning this region into a greenbelt is not only logical but compelling and realistic. This strategic project will thus have a far-reaching impact towards accelerating agriculture, production, productivity and growth in this part of the country,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa said when it comes to development, no one and no place in the country should be left behind.
The President urged communities to guard against vandalism of infrastructure to ensure sustainability of the projects.