The Tokwe Mkosi Dam: Possible effects
By Charles Kungwengwe
Chivi and Chiredzi Districts in Masvingo Province have always been regarded economic wastelands due to their drought –prone nature ,a phenomenon that saw locals receiving food handouts from both the Government and N.G.O s every year .Following the construction of Tokwe –Mukosi Dam, the largest in –land water body in the country (with a carrying capacity of 1,8oo cubic metres of water), these areas are going to have a new lease of life . Not only in these particular areas ,but Masvingo Province ,in general ,and ultimately ,the Continent at large .It will also place Zimbabwe on the world map.
Before this development there were 1000 dams in the Country and this has added to that number. The most obvious advantage of having this dam is that it is set to create thousands of jobs for the locals ,both part-timers and those on full-time, and this has happened at a time when Zimbabwe is facing the most trying times. In fact , in addition to job opportunities , a good number have already been absorbed in the construction of the dam itself and attendant recreational facilities for visitors ,both local and foreign tourists.
Associated with the above, is the fact that the blessed region is set to increase food security at a local ,provincial ,national and even international level. No doubt ,Zimbabwe will once again be the breadbasket of Africa. All programs are going to be in harmony with ZIMASSET .
Of particular interest is the fact that targeted fish harvests per annum is 1,5million tones and that figure is expected to support a population of about 1,2 million people.
This area is expected to be the focal-point in fish production in the country and from it fish will be stocked into other dams elsewhere.
So far 25 ooo hectares of irrigable land have already been earmarked for agriculture.
Needless to say, rural electrification will soon commence and electricity will criss-cross the entire region.
To crown it all, the general way of life of the locals is set to improve considerably.
How about foreign investors?
On a negative note: this development may also further fuel factionalism as the usually competing camps will battle over control of the dam ,thereby enhancing their political leverage. We are also likely to witness clashes over boundaries involving next-door neighboring chiefs.// opinion
Nkulumani Mlambo (0772 118 533/0715 505353)