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Lifeline for Beitbridge residents

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PLANS to construct a $60 million Zhovhe Dam pipeline that will supply water to 30 000 people and green a large area of Beitbridge district are afoot.

By Own Correspondent

Zhovhe is the country’s 11th largest dam and is built in the heart of what used to be a commercial farming area.

Currently, it benefits a handful of resettled and citrus farmers living along the Umzingwane River, into which the dam spills.

Acting Beitbridge district administrator, Jahson Mugodzwa yesterday confirmed the massive project, saying plans were at an advanced stage, but gave no further details.

“Stakeholders from all government ministries met at our office on Monday, where that subject was topical. I am not at liberty to give you finer details, but will confirm such a meeting was held,” he said.

Among the stakeholders were Beitbridge West Member of Parliament, Metrine Mudau of Zanu PF and Senator Tambudzani Mohadi.

But a source, who attended the meeting, said the pipeline will be about 60km long.

It will deliver water — liquid gold in this dry district — to Mtetengwe, Jompempi, citrus farms south of the Zhovhe and Malala communal areas.

“It is expected to run alongside the Beitbridge-Bulawayo highway. Branches from the main line should also follow feeder roads to the highway and reach all communal areas serviced by that highway,” the source said.

Looking at the terrain, water is likely to gravitate reducing cost.

The government will fund the construction of the pipeline which should have been included during construction of the Zhovhe Dam some 20 years ago.

“Beneficiaries are expected to be employed during construction, but dates of commencement of the project are still to be announced,” the source said.

Jompempi and Mtetengwe communal areas, like all areas in Beitbridge, are dry, but productive.

Communal farmers in Beitbridge recently proved their production prowess if sufficiently supported.

Most, supported by non-governmental organisations, have ventured into fish-farming in defiance of the climatic conditions of their district.

“If water is provided, we can change our world,” reigning best farmer of the district Majini Ndou of Dimlomo village told the Southern Eye last week.

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