BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
THE government is yet to sub-contract companies that will construct the 245-kilometre Gwayi-Shangani pipeline, which is viewed as the lasting solution to Bulawayo’s perennial water shortages.
Finance minister Mthuli Ncube allocated $535 million for the pipeline project in the 2022 budget, paving the way for a tendering process.
A tender for the construction of the pipeline was floated in April following a ground breaking ceremony by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Nyamandlovu in February.
The Gwayi-Shangani pipeline will have a capacity to convey in excess of 160 million cubic meters of water to the city annually.
The pipeline will also benefit several irrigation schemes being set up between the Gwayi-Shangani Dam and Bulawayo.
But Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) spokesperson Marjorie Munyonga in an interview said the tender process was yet to be finalised.
“The tender process is still on-going and we will update when complete,” Munyonga said.
“The tender closing date was November 24 and it will be finalised at the end of year or early January.”
Mnangagwa last weekend told Bulawayo residents that the city will start receiving water from the project by December 2022.
He said local companies will be hired for construction of the pipeline.
The project to pipe water from the mighty Zambezi River, 452km away to Bulawayo, was first mooted in 1912, but abandoned by successive governments due to the high costs involved.
Upon completion the dam will have a capacity to hold a maximum of 635 million cubic meters of water, making it the third biggest in-land dam in the country after Tugwi Mukosi and Mutirikwi.