Govt gives $2m for Kunzvi Dam, $4m for Byo water project

HARARE - Construction of Kunzvi Dam to augment Harares water supply is due to start in April, with a $2 million contribution from government.

Water Resources Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo said construction of the dam would take between 18 and 24 months.

It has been on the cards for too long and we are starting to build the dam in April, he told the latest edition of The Prime Ministers Newsletter.

The construction project is a partnership between the government and local and foreign private companies.

We are in partnership with a local company and two other companies from Nigeria and France, he said without naming the partners.

Construction of Kunzvi Dam on Nyagui River in Mashonaland East province was approved by cabinet in 1996 to ease shortages of water in the capital. It was supposed to be commissioned in 2002.

In addition, government has at last allocated the initial $4 million to kick-start a long-delayed multi-million-dollar project to pipe water to Bulawayo.

A long held plan to tap water from the Zambezi River through the construction of a 450km pipeline to arid Matabeleland, the project was mooted way back in 1912.

The total cost of the pipeline has sky-rocketed and the project is now estimated to cost more than $600 million.

However, the crisis-ridden government has been unable to implement the scheme, drawing the ire of Bulawayo residents and other pressure groups from the region.

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