Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Friday inaugurated rehabilitation work on the Macarretane dam, in Chokwe district, in the southern province of Gaza.
This included the installation of a dissipation basin. The work was needed to repair parts of the dam structure which had suffered corrosion caused by excessive discharges of water, starting with the enormous floods on the Limpopo river in 2000. The corrosion was putting at risk the structure of the dam, which was built on the Limpopo in 1953-55.
The rehabilitation is intended to guarantee the stability of the structure, and the supply of water to about 12,000 producers in the Chokwe irrigation scheme, the largest irrigation scheme in the country.
Addressing the ceremony, Nyusi stressed the strategic importance of the dam to the economy of Gaza, and of the entire country.
"Last year, when we decided to rehabilitate this dam, we knew that the work was crucial for the development of this region", said the President. "Mapai, Chicualacuala and Mabalane districts (all semi-arid parts of the Gaza interior) depend on this project".
The road and rail bridge over the river at Macarretane "stimulates the economy of Gaza, and allows the connection with Zimbabwe", added Nyusi.
"We are also in a highly productive are, which needs to be handled with all seriousness in order to ensure the development of Gaza province and of Mozambique in general", he continued. "We are pleased with this infrastructure, because it could guarantee the irrigation of between 30,000 and 35,000 hectares of cultivated and in the Chokwe irrigation scheme. It will also ensure the irrigation of 19,000 hectares in the Lower Limpopo. This same water can also be used for human consumption and for livestock".
The work on the Macarretane dam cost about eight million US dollars, financed by the Mozambican government with the support of the World Bank.