Lake Gwayi-Shangani to be completed this year: President

Nqobile Tshili,

THE Lake Gwayi-Shangani project is set to be completed by the end of this year with President Mnangagwa                                                          yesterday reiterating his Government’s commitment to pushing it to the end given its strategic significance in mitigating the impact of climate change.

The Lake Gwayi-Shangani project, at 79 percent completion, is being aggressively pursued by the Second Republic using Treasury resources after successive Governments failed to implement it since 1912 until President Mnangagwa came into power in 2017. 

Once completed, the large water body would supply water to Bulawayo and ease the city’s perennial water woes while supporting robust irrigation projects.

In his address while officially commissioning the reconstructed Pupu Battlefield Memorial Site in Lupane, Matabeleland North province, President Mnangagwa said his administration remains committed to advancing the country’s development agenda in line with Vision 2030. 

He said an infrastructure development drive will be pursued including the completion of the construction                 of the Lake Gwayi-Shangani project.

“This year in Matabeleland North province we are going to complete the construction of Lake Gwayi-Shangani. 

“We shall also build more clinics and schools here in Matabeleland North,” said the President. 

“When the Lake Gwayi-Shangani is completed it shall create a greenbelt from Shangani to Bulawayo.”

Already a Lake Gwayi-Shangani master plan is being developed and once implemented it is expected to trigger rural industrialisation while also supporting tourism, agriculture and power generation.

At least 200 hectares of land have been set aside as the Government wants to create a greenbelt along the Gwayi-Shangani-Bulawayo pipeline.

To further enhance access to water resources for sustainable economic projects, President Mnangagwa said his Government will continue drilling boreholes across the country to increase access to potable water to communities.

“Under the Second Republic, we shall continue to make sure that every single village has a borehole. We have 35 000 villages in this country and we have a programme that every single village shall have a solar-powered borehole,” he said.

The President said he was also alive to the drought situation following the poor rains in the summer cropping season and assured the nation that no one will die due to starvation, as his Government has set plans to ensure that households are food secure.

“Now I want to talk about the present, your Government is committed to continue to have food security. This year we have a drought, climate change is affecting our region in Sadc. But we, the Government of Zimbabwe will ensure that no one will die of hunger,” said President Mnangagwa.

He also urged communities to conserve grazing lands by desisting from starting wildfires. 

Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa expressed gratitude to the electorate in Matabeleland North for voting him back to power in the August 2023 harmonised elections.

He said he was charmed that hundreds of people came to witness the historic commissioning of Pupu Battlefield National Monument. Earlier the President officially opened Pupu Clinic.

Yesterday’s event was attended by Vice-Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, Cabinet Ministers, traditional leaders, among other officials.

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