Zimbabwe places international bid for construction of multi-million-dollar dam


The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday placed an international bid inviting consulting companies to submit proposals for the implementation of a multi-million-dollar water project that is intended to ease capital city Harare’s water woes.

“Tenders are invited from suitably qualified and experienced consultants to submit a technical and financial proposal for the provision of advisory services to the Kunzvi-Musami-Harare Water Supply Project,” the bidding notice from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement said. Documents pertaining to the project will be obtainable from the ministry’s head office for a non-refundable fee of 10 U.S. dollars. In 2016, Chinese contractor Sino-Hydro signed an agreement with the government for the construction of the new dam which will be located about 70 km north-east of the city under a build, operate and transfer arrangement. The dam will augment supplies from four other reservoirs which are now failing to cope with demand.

Then Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said that an Environmental Impact Assessment would be done before the construction of the dam began. The estimated cost of building the dam then was 400 million U.S. dollars, but all major works including laying a pipeline and building a new waterworks would push the bill up to between 850 and 900 million dollars. The government had intended to build the dam as far back as the early 1990s, with interested contractors in the private sector being invited for on-site tours on a number of occasions, but financial challenges had stalled the project. Kunzvi Dam, which is situated on the Nyagui River in Mashonaland East province, is seen as the solution to the city’s water woes which have persisted for decades, forcing authorities to impose water rationing during the dry months.

The new dam was expected to produce 250,000 cubic meters for the city daily. Harare has about 2.5 million residents and also caters for another 2 million consumers in the satellite towns of Chitungwiza, Norton, Ruwa, Epworth and other settlements on its boundaries – all needing about 1,200 megaliters a day. All its reservoirs – Harava Dam, Seke Dam, Lake Chivero and Lake Manyame – are on the Manyame River and suffer heavy pollution from the surrounding urban settlements, industries and farming areas.

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