Story by Mhlomuli Ncube
ONE of the massive projects being undertaken by the second republic, the Gwayi-Shangai Lake project is set for completion this year, with the pumping of water expected to start next year.
Premised on delivering the second republic’s promise of consistent water supply to the people of Matabeleland North and Bulawayo, the Gwayi-Shangani Lake project will be completed this year before the actual pumping of water starts in 2024.
Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr Anxious Masuka said, “We did an impressive 20 metres of the wall and it is very evident behind me also to plan for 2023 as indicated by the President that this lake has to be completed this year so we are planning with the team what works need to be done as works resume and the resources that are required to ensure that this is completed in summer 2023/2024 we start pumping water.
“Due to its multi-purpose approach, the project will involve several inter-ministerial interventions. People settled on the water basin will have to be reorganised thus bringing in the Ministry of Social Amenities and National Housing. Due to its magnitude, the project will also incorporate other ministries like Energy and power development as a 10-megawatt power generation plant will be installed.”
The Gwayi-Shangani Lake is also expected to open a new wildlife corridor as animals from the nearby Hwange National Park access the water body.
The envisaged agriculture greenbelt will also cater for the irrigation needs of farmers along the pipeline that will be constructed to the Bulawayo Kraal scheme in Binga and from Gwayi to Bulawayo.