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Zimbabwe says funds to help complete Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam

The government of Zimbabwe says it plans to resume construction soon on the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam water storage and irrigation project with the allocation of Z$5 trillion (US$166.6 million) for the work.

The government-backed Harare Herald said construction is to resume soon on the project, which was stalled by inadequate funding by the economically strapped government. Work by Italy's Salini and Impregilo began in 1998.

Deputy Water Resources Minister Cde Walter Mzembi said January 7 the budget allocation is evidence of the government's commitment to complete the project on the Tokwe River in the Masvingo Region. He said the funds would be insufficient to complete the work, but would ensure that work continues.

Mzembi said the government also is considering an offer by Triangle Estates to meet a 36 million euro (US$52.8 million) debt to contractors in exchange for an equivalent amount of water rights. Once complete, Tokwe-Mukorsi has the potential to open 25,000 hectares to irrigation.

In December, the Herald reported the government had set aside Z$107 trillion (US$3.5 billion) toward completion of Tokwe-Mukorsi and five other major dams, including Bindura, Kunzwi, Marovanyati, Mutange, and Shave.

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