Buhera Dam construction nears completion

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CHINA Jiangxi International Corporation, which was contracted by Government to construct Marowanyati Dam in Buhera, has reinvented its work ethic and introduced 24-hour working shifts which, apart from resulting in massive physical progress, enhanced prospects of finishing major works at the water reservoir before the rainy season.

President Mnangagwa’s administration has injected $19,5 million into the project, which suffered at least 10 years of deferment under the previous regime, regardless of its centrality to the vision of providing multi-purpose water to thousands of people in rural and peri-urban segments of Buhera.

The project is being administered by the Zimbabwe Water Authority (ZINWA). Government is implementing the bulk water supply scheme as part its effort to foster reliable access to water for communities where the impact of climate change is being keenly felt.

The total cost of the project is US$33, 251, 852, 69.

The 50 million cubic litre reservoir had reached 85 percent completion.

The contractor has also boosted the equipment and machinery to speed up the pace. Some 20 tippers are now on the ground and a skyscraper and concrete pump were being mounted to ameliorate construction of the intake tower and access bridge.

The access bridge allows movement from the dam crest to the intake tower, from where one can climb down into the D-tunnel (gate valves) or vice-versa.

The concrete pump, will be used to feed concrete directly to higher levels, a method that is more effective than use of a crane.

A coffer-dam, which is a temporary watertight enclosure, has been constructed upstream to allow de-watering diversion and permit construction work below the waterline or river bed so that foundation excavations are not affected by water.

The water is diverted through the outlet trench.

The contractor has also finished the 92 metre D-tunnel, back fill of the dam wall and excavation of the spillway and is left with the installation of 2x900mm outlet pipes that will release the water downstream and while the construction of the intake tower was in progress.

The embankment is now 35.2m and narrowed at the top crest.

Addressing a delegation led by Buhera West MP Soul Nzuma (Zanu PF) last week, the project manager Engineer Alouis Katsande said with the non-stop pace, the contractor will be able to complete major works before the end of the year.

“We have introduced night shift, which means work is being done 24 hours.

“We have a target to complete all the major works before the rainy season. With the new work ethic, the target can be achieved and considering the physical progress we have made so far, we can conclude that the 24-hour shift has yielded positive results,” said Eng Katsande.

Eng Katsande said the smooth administration and release of funds by Government was making construction work go uninterrupted. Government is releasing funding through the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ).

“The timeous release of funds by Government should be commended as it has made work easy.

“The contractor is concentrating on the core business without worrying about funding as the commitment is there.

“All the finished stages are being paid on submission of requests,” said Eng Katsande.

Cde Nzuma said he was impressed by the physical progress at Marowanyati Dam and thanked the Government for speeding up its funding.

“I would like to thank President Mnangagwa and his administration for the initiative to fund this project after years of neglection.

“Marowanyati Dam, upon completion, will help people of Buhera.

“I am impressed by progress being made here and it reflects on the vision of our President of providing water to rural and per-urban segments of Buhera and turning around the economy because the dam will definitely improve irrigation schemes and improve food security in the district,” said Cde Nzuma.

The water reservoir has potential to transform and support the lives of the families and agricultural communities that live along its banks and ensuring that the growth of Murambinda will not encounter obstacles and bottlenecks in near future.

Marovanyati Dam is located on the Mwerihari River, a perennial stream with an annual flow of 182 million litres.

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