Dam construction to displace hundreds of Gwayi families

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By Staff Reporter

OVER 350 families living close to Gwayi-Shangani Dam facing removal from the area as the work on the massive water body begins.

The Gwayi-Shangani Dam pipeline was estimated to provide 147 mega litres of water per day, enough to guarantee for bulk water supply in the medium term to Bulawayo and Matabeleland North.

The dam consists of a roller compacted gravity arch concrete wall 72 mm high with two outlet pipes and a 200mm concrete.

Speaking during the tour organised by Bulawayo Civil Society Organisations, Gwayi- Shangani Dam Assistant Engineer Lucio Chayeruka said 350 families will be evacuated from the area.

“I am very aware of the 350 families that are going to be affected by the construction of the dam. We have done a survey and saw that 350 families needed to be evacuated as they are going to be affected by the dam construction,” said Chayeruka.

“The matter is now in the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture but as it stands for us now the matter is now very urgent and urgent intervention is required.”

Chayeruka said the ministry will decide the fate of the families.

“It is the sole responsibility for the ministry to decide when and where these families will be resettled. Once we start the construction process, the structures will have to be removed,” said Chayeruka.

Matabeleland Collective chairperson Jenny Williams said as civil society organisations, they needed to know if those families were going to be compensated.

“It is important for us the civil society to empower the community that is within the 60-kilometre radius of the dam and what it will mean for them when the dam is constructed. They need to be empowered to know what is coming in their way,” said Williams.

“The communities need to be empowered so that people cannot come and take advantage of those communities.”

Currently, the dam is under construction and as a part of the whole project, a pipeline will be constructed linking the dam to Cowdray Park in Bulawayo.

The project is going to help improve the water situation in Bulawayo which is currently facing serious water shortages.