All life, human, social and economic activity is dependent upon the availability of water in good quality and sufficient quantity. Water utilization in Zimbabwe is mainly in agriculture (crop and livestock watering), manufacturing industry, mining, household use (rural/urban), power generation (hydro-electric/thermal power), transport, wildlife sustenance, fisheries (including sustenance of aquatic life) and tourism.
Water is a critical element in achieving social justice, empowerment and poverty reduction under the Sustainable Development Goals, (World Bank, 2008). Water plays a pivotal role in the economy of Zimbabwe but it must always be safe to utilize (National Water Policy, 2013). The adequacy of the water resource is a limiting factor in development of agricultural, urban growth, industrial and mining activities. On the social end, water and adequate quality water provision is also a key defining factor in rural poverty reduction. The country’s GDP growth is positively correlated to the country’s hydrological cycle/seasonal rainfall pattern. Effective water management has therefore become a compelling imperative which is very critical to the country’s economic growth prospects. In a bid to ensure that the agricultural sector and farming activities are not adversely affected by dry spells and droughts from erratic rainfall patterns, the country’s water management policies and practices need to be strengthened to fully realize economic growth potential. It is in light of this that IDBZ is focused on infrastructure development in the water sector.
Set out below are brief outlines of projects the Bank is currently actively engaged in as well as future plans for the sector, starting with priority national water projects (see the Water Resources and Infrastructure Investment Conference, June 2015, Report).
The Dam, with a capacity of 1,803 billion Mega Litres (ML) and a yield of 364 000ML per annum, will support the development of about 25 000 ha of land for irrigation around Togwi and Runde rivers in the Lowveld region and the construction and installation of a 15MW hydro-electric power station when completed. Upon completion, the project will also facilitate setting up of small irrigation farms on communal lands and production of sugar to maintain an annual raw sugar production of 200 000 tons.
In order to fund outstanding works on the dam construction, the Bank was mandated by ZINWA to raise US$30 million to finance completion works on Togwi-Mukosi Dam (see Information Memorandum). The Dam, which is 90% complete, was funded from the fiscus through the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP). Under its implementation and monitoring arm, the Bank is responsible for handling disbursements to the Contractor against project milestones. To date and as part of its agency role, the Bank has disbursed US$245million from the PSIP towards the construction of the dam.
In August and November 2015 the Government of Zimbabwe issued Treasury Bills with a face value of US$75million to reduce arrears to the Contractor and facilitate resumption of works. The Bank successfully liquidated the TBs raising proceeds approximately US$65million to cover commitments to the Contractor, Salini Impregilo International.
A capital raising programme through issuance of infrastructure bonds by the Bank under the ZINWA mandate will complement Government’s efforts especially in view of the severely limited fiscal space. The Bank is optimistic that collaborative efforts with Government will yield positive results to fully resource the completion of this Dam.
- Other Dams and Water Projects
Government of Zimbabwe, working together with various stakeholders in the water sector including ZINWA as its implementing arm, identified priority national water sector projects which were showcased at a Water Resource and Infrastructure Investment Conference in Harare (June, 2015). The Conference was meant to conscientise stakeholders and prospective investors on the need for the private sector to partner and assist Government, through joint venture arrangements and/ or public private partnerships (PPPs) in the development especially of commercially viable water projects with confirmed market off-take mainly based on urban demand for potable water consumption. The following were identified as priority dam and water supply projects:
- Epping Forest (Nyamandlovu Aquifer) - Bulawayo;
- Chivu Water Supply Project – Chivhu and Mashonaland East;
- Muda Nyatsime Dam- Chitungwiza and Harare;
- National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project- Matabeleland and Bulawayo;
- Kunzvi- Musami Dam– Harare;
- Kondo Dam- Save River- Odzi;
- Kudu Dam – Kadoma, Sanyati;
- Nyatana Dam – Mutoko;
- Lubongo Dam – Gweru- Shurugwi;
- Bindura Dam – Bindura and Mashonaland Central
In terms of its overall interventions in the water and sanitation sector the Bank is working with ZINWA to assist in developing to bankability some of the projects on the priority list, namely, the three (3) major dam projects aimed at improving water (both potable and industrial water) supply to Harare, Chitungwiza and Bulawayo and the Matabeleland region. These water projects are: Kunzwi-Musami, Muda-Nyatsime, and Matabeleland- Zambezi Water Project respectively. The Zambezi Water Project total cost is approximately US$1.720billion and is proposed to be funded under Zimbabwe’s participation in the US$60 billion Chinese facility for Africa. The latter project is also expected to facilitate accelerated irrigation and industrialization of the dry Matabeleland region over and above the potential for power generation projects from renewable and clean energy sources.
In addition to any new projects which are Greenfield, the Bank is also looking at assisting ZINWA to complete several ongoing dam projects whose completion has been stalled due to funding and budgetary constraints. The Bank holds a ZINWA mandate to issue a Water Bond specifically to fund commercially viable water sector projects and rehabilitation of the pumping and distribution infrastructure. When the projects are completed, it is expected that the intended beneficiaries will also optimise on their business activities at the same time creating capacity to meet water usage bills in order to ensure sustainable and continued investment by ZINWA and other role players in the water sector infrastructure to improve dependability of the water resource for its multiple usage.