Government has availed $40 million for the construction of Semwa Dam in Rushinga and $900 000 for the construction of a water pipeline from Chimhanda to Rushinga Shopping Centre to alleviate the critical shortage of water supply in the area.
ZINWA acting chief executive Engineer Taurai Maurikira said the construction of a pipeline was expected to be complete in the next two weeks.
"The long-term solution to Rushinga-Mt Darwin water supply challenges is, however, the construction of Semwa Dam, which has a capacity of 265 million cubic metres and Treasury has responded quickly and availed $40 million," he said.
"The dam will be capable of irrigating 10 000 hectares. The dam project is going to cost $141 million and we don't have funding challenges. We expect the dam to be complete by 2020.
"Drilling of boreholes in critical areas in this district is one of strategies in response to the water crisis.
"Rehabilitation of broken down boreholes is the second intervention and construction of weirs throughout the district.
"We are now trying to remove the silt that accumulated over the years and this is a result of bad practices in soil conservation and agriculture.
"It is costly to carry out such an exercise and emphasis must be on soil conservation and catchment protection."
Director of water resources planning and management in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Mr Tinayeshe Mutazu said de-siltation of Mukuhununu Dam in ward 19 had started.
Government has also instructed ZINWA and the District Development Fund to drill 50 boreholes, two in each of the 25 wards in the area.
"We have mobilised resources quickly to come to this dam site whose siltation level had reached two metres," said Mr Mutazu.
"Our hope is that apart from providing safe drinking water for people, livestock will also get water and not continue to get struck in the silt and mud.
"Government is working with UNICEF and DFID under the rural water and sanitation programme and 350 boreholes have been rehabilitated, which will go a long way in alleviating the crisis."
Read the original article on The Herald.
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