Zimbabwe: 'Use Tugwi-Mukosi Dam to Boost Agric'

Government has been challenged to urgently start utilising the heavily untapped Tugwi-Mukosi Dam in Masvingo, which has the potential to stimulate economic growth and assist in the realisation of an upper middle income status by 2030.

The dam, which cost US$270 million, was commissioned in 2016 and holds 1,8 billion cubic metres of water at full capacity.

It is the country's largest inland water body with potential to irrigate over 25 000 hectares.

Currently, the dam is 40 percent full with its water being used to irrigate Lowveld cane fields.

Besides its vast agricultural potential, Tugwi-Mukosi can also be a fisheries hub while its scenic topography can create a wondrous tourism spectacle.

There are plans to build a 15-megawatt power plant on the dam, while a national park is also being mooted.

Minister of State for Presidential Affairs responsible for Implementation and Monitoring of Government projects, Joram Gumbo said Tugwi-Mukosi could add impetus to the Second Republic's quest to grow its economy and ensure food self-sufficiency through irrigation.

Minister Gumbo said there was need to expedite the crafting of the dam's master plan, while at the same time working on exploiting low hanging projects there.

Speaking on a visit to the dam last Thursday, Minister Gumbo said Tugwi-Mukosi was a game changer in the country's drive to attain food security.

"What I am seeing here is an amazing water body which is 40 percent full at the moment and I am saying to myself this water can be channelled towards irrigation so that we can feed our people and end recurrent food shortages through irrigation."

In the face of climate change that has spawned successive droughts and food shortages, Minister Gumbo said it was imperative for Zimbabwe to fully utilise water bodies such as Tugwi-Mukosi.

Government has been pushing for kick-off of anchor projects at Tugwi-Mukosi that are not affected by the main master plan which is currently being crafted by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

Agro-processing industries and other related firms are expected to take advantage of the envisaged greenbelt.

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