CAJ News Agency (Johannesburg)

27 May 2014

Zimbabwe: Zim Disaster Dam to Be Drained

Masvingo, Zimbabwe — Tokwe-Mukosi Dam, Zimbabwe's largest inland lake will be drained to enable the construction of a new wall after the original structure burst to spark a disaster.

The construction, which is scheduled to begin next month, follows a meeting by the Masvingo Provincial Development Committee (PDC).

“For the benefit of all of us here all the water in the Tokwe Mukosi Dam will be drained.

“The engineers have told us that what they are constructing now is just a rock fill which is not a dam wall. The dam wall will be built from the bottom and there is need to be dry in the dam hence we are going to drain all the water,”said Acting Masvingo Provincial Administrator, Godwin Chipika.

Concern has been raised as to why the water would not be used productively.

An engineer present at the recent meeting said there was “nothing” that could be done.

“We will drain this water and those living downstream who want to use it can do so but most of the water would just be wasted. It will cost more to divert the water to other points,” he said.

According to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority officials the Tokwe Mukosi dam project is expected to cost US$ 430 million.

So far, according to engineers about $181 million has been used.

Completion is scheduled for August.

Italian company, Salini Impregilo, is constructing the dam.

Heavy rains that pounded Masvingo Province early this year left more than 3 000 villagers along the Tokwe Mukosi basin homeless.

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