HARARE, October 24 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s government has released $20 million for the completion of the one of the country’s largest dams, Tokwe-Mukosi, before the end of the year, the state infrastructure bank has said.
The project’s costs vary, with figures ranging from $117 million to $200 million.
Upon completion, the project is expected to provide valuable water to sugar and citrus estates in the lowveld, as well as supplying water and electricity to the nearby Masvingo town.
Work on the dam, which began in 1998, has been held back by a combination of natural disasters and funding problems.Earlier this year, Italian contractor Salini Impregilo threatened to halt work over outstanding payments.
“The Government of Zimbabwe recently released an amount of US$20.3 million to the IDBZ to be applied towards completion of outstanding works at the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam” the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) said in a press statement on Sunday.
“This is in addition to the US$75 million Treasury Bills availed by the Government to clear outstanding arrears”.
IDBZ said it had also recently disbursed $18 million (equivalent to 16.6 million euros) to Salini Impregilo from the proceeds of Treasury Bills raised earlier this year.
“Following the payment of the outstanding dues to Salini, the contractor has engaged to fully re-mobilize and complete outstanding works before the onset of the rain season. Tokwe-Mukosi Dam will therefore be able to impound water starting from the 2016/17 rain season” the IDBZ said.
The dam, which has been long in the planning as part of a strategic development to guarantee supply of water to the lowveld sugar and citrus estates, is 96 percent complete.
At completion, the dam is expected to provide irrigation for 25 000 hectares of sugar cane plantations with citrus plantations and power generation projects also in the pipeline.