146 families face relocation over dam construction

GOVERNMENT is currently looking for land to relocate the over 140 families in Masomera, to pave way for the construction of Causeway Dam about 30km outside Marondera.

BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA

Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister Aplonia Munzverengi yesterday said the dam project had been stalled by lack of alternative land to resettle the affected families.

“The predicament we are facing is of land. We have 146 families who need to be relocated to pave way for the construction of Causeway Dam. The project was supposed to have been completed by March next year, but has since been stalled because of that. We need land for the affected families,” she said.

Causeway Dam is being constructed along Macheke River and is meant to supply water to Marondera University of Agricultural Science and Technology (MUAST) and neighbouring farms.

About $5 million was set aside for construction of the dam in 2017.

Marondera East legislator Patrick Chidhakwa confirmed that some villagers would have to be relocated.

“I haven’t been on the ground of late, but I hear it (relocation) will be next year. Those affected have been allowed to farm this year. The process will be done smoothly to reduce inconveniences,” he said.

The construction of Causeway Dam is among other government-funded dam projects that include Mutange Dam in Gokwe ($2m), Gwayi-Shangani in Matabeleland North ($3,7m) and Marovanyati in Buhera ($8m).

In 2014, government relocated about 3 000 families to Nuanetsi Ranch in Mwenezi to pave way for the construction of Tugwi-Mukosi Dam.

According to government, 6 000 more villagers should be evicted from the Tugwi-Mukosi area to pave way for the establishment of a mooted town.

The Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe who are sponsoring the dam’s master plan to the tune of $800 000, said there would be an urban settlement around the big water body that would see the construction of hotels, resorts, schools, churches and a 25 000-hectare irrigation scheme.

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