Chinese contractor China Nanchang Engineering has begun construction of the Kunzvi Dam in Goromonzi district, about 67 kilometers northeast of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe.
The company was awarded the $109 million project to build the dam in August on a build, operate and transfer model ahead of several local contractors and Chinese contractor SinoHydro.
The dam is being built through a loan from China. Upon completion, the long awaited construction of the dam will become an additional source of water for Harare and expectedly end the city”s perennial water woes.
Kunzvi dam site is situated on the confluence of the Nora and Nyagui rivers in Goromonzi.
Taurai Maurikira, the chief executive of the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, told the weekly Sunday Mail that following a recent site handover, the contractor last week moved on site to start work on the water reservoir, whose completion has been set for 2023.
The project involves dam construction, laying of a pipeline connecting the dam to Harare and a water treatment plant. According to the Harare City Masterplan, Kunzvi Dam should have been built in 1996 and started supplying water by 2000.
The dam’s construction, the upgrading of Harare-Beitbridge Road, the expansion of Hwange 7 & 8, and Gwayi-Shangani Dam, which will supply water to Bulawayo, are some of National Development Strategy 1’s priority projects.
China has been instrumental in funding and constructing Zimbabwe’s vital infrastructural projects in energy, telecommunications and transport, chief among them the expansion of Robert Mugabe International Airport and expansion of government telcos Netone and Telone.
The many different trade and aid policies being pursued by China globally have been heavily criticised but can developing countries become more independent or will China’s policy reform?