George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Government is set to unveil the Tugwi-Mukosi master plan after it paid a South African consultant hired to do the job.
The plan will pave way for full utilisation of Zimbabwe’s largest inland dam.
Work on the master plan had been affected by delays in the payment of about US$200 000 to the consultant to complete the work.
Government was toying with the idea of concentrating on low hanging projects such as building of a hydro power plant, which is not affected by a master plan.
The master plan will designate land use patterns in and around Tugwi-Mukosi dam.
Minister of State for Masvingo province Ezra Chadzamira said it was all systems go after clearance of arrears owed to the South African consultant.
He said the master plan was now set to be out in the first quarter of this year.
“We are very excited that the Tugwi-Mukosi master plan will soon be out after the consultant doing the job was paid,” he said.
There has been delays in paying the consultant which affected work on the master plan, but everything is now in place after payment was effected.
“By the end of the first quarter around March, the master plan will be out and we hope everything will move according to plan.
“Our cry has been over failure to fully utilise Tugwi-Mukosi Dam despite its huge potential to change lives of our people, but now we are on track.
“We are very grateful to President Mnangagwa and his Government for making sure work on the master plan is completed,” said Minister Chadzamira.
Tugwi-Mukosi Dam is billed as the catalyst of socio-economic development owing to its vast irrigation potential.
The dam, which was commissioned in May 2016, has been top on the agenda of the Second Republic under President Mnangagwa which has been pushing for its full exploitation in line with Vision 2030.
Besides irrigating more than 25 000 hectares in arid parts of southern Masvingo, Tugwi-Mukosi has potential to generate 15MW electricity that will be fed onto the national grid.
The dam is also a potential fisheries hub that can boost the nutrition of surrounding communities and their disposable income through commercial fishing.
Tugwi-Mukosi is Zimbabwe’s largest inland dam with a capacity of 1,8 billion cubic meters and cost nearly US$270 million to build.