By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
A TOTAL of 390 households in Kariba are set to be relocated from Mahombekombe high density suburb to a new location.
Mahombekombe was built in 1956 for labourers who were constructing the iconic Kariba dam, believed to be the largest man-made water reservoir in Africa.
The envisaged relocation exercise, initially spearheaded by Kariba Municipality, is expected to gather pace following the intervention of the National Housing and Social Amenities ministry which has pledged to pay-off contractors who had abandoned the job over non-payment for services.
Kariba mayor, George Masendu confirmed the development to NewZimbabwe.com.
“We have a challenge of the old suburb of Mahombekombe where we have those blocks of houses built around 1956 during construction of the dam wall.
“Those people are living under (high voltage) power lines and are, therefore, supposed to be relocated to Kasese.
“The Kasese Phase 1 and 2 project was at a stand-still due to financial challenges, but we are happy that government a fortnight ago intervened in order to hasten the exercise,” said Masendu.
The mayor added, “So we have got 390 housing stands for the people of Mahombekombe.
“Through the government, we are planning to have core-houses of which 100 would be earmarked for the most vulnerable to help those who cannot afford to build their own houses.”
Masendu said the Kasese housing project would ensure residents have decent accommodation while also reducing the national housing backlog.
National Housing and Social Amenities deputy minister, Yeukai Simbanegavi, who was recently in the resort town, made an undertaking to pay all outstanding amounts owed to contractors for work done so far at the two-phase relocation project.
The project would see servicing of the area before inhabitants move in.
The local authority is also seized with water augmentation at the Breezes Water Works where purification and pumping capacity is expected to be increased from the current 12 megalitres to 18 megalitres per day.
The two projects which had stalled owing to liquidity constraints will now receive direct funding from Treasury as part of the National Development Strategy (NDS 1) which runs until 2025.