Daniel Chigunwe Mash Central Correspondent
Construction of Dande Dam in Guruve has gathered momentum with work on the water outlet tunnel almost complete.
On completion the Dande Dam will be the largest water body in Mashonaland Central province, holding 160 million cubic metres of water and will go a long way in assisting the province participate fully in the National Development Strategy One (NDS1) and attainment of Vision 2030 through agriculture, mining and recreation, among others.
The dam will irrigate 450 ha of mainly sugar cane, cotton and food crops. The project was launched in 2019 but was delayed by intermittent Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions but operations only resumed four months ago. The contractors China International Water and Electricity (CIWE) is now working on a quarry crash site and the drilling of the tunnel through the Mavhuradona Mountain, in Vira, Kachuta communal lands northwest of Guruve centre.
Situated on the Dande River at the boundary of Guruve and Mbire districts, the dam will benefit both districts and will bring relief to wildlife in the Dande South Safari area, where they have been depending on Hangwa (Angwa) River which always dry during the dry season.
Speaking recently during a media tour arranged by Guruve North legislator Cde Grover Dzepasi, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) assistant engineer Mr Mandla Dingana said the dam progress now stood at 30 percent, although road construction for smooth transportation of construction material from the dam site to the water outlet tunnel in Chitsungo is almost complete.
“Operations at Dande Dam have begun after a long Covid -19 lockdown delay and currently the major development is the commencement of the tunnel outlet in Chitsungo, Mbire area which is 7, 6 kilometres long and 2,6min diameter, this is a key milestone in the progress of the dam.
“Also work on the road to link the dam site with the Chitsungo water outlet is almost done, the road was a priority to allow the easy movement of material. The quarry crash site establishment is also at advanced stage, with shipment of the machinery into the country expected anytime soon, hence we can safely say progress is at advanced stage” said Mr Dingana.
“The dam which is mainly for agricultural purpose will be capable of irrigating 4 500ha of land with the communal lands between Hunyani and Dande river set to benefit a lot. There will also be recreational facilities,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cde Dzepasi said Government had since begun an exercise for the relocation of locals residing within the dam catchment area. “We have several households that are going to be affected by the construction of this dam, hence data collection by local government personnel is ongoing and at an advance stage.