BULAWAYO, (The Southern African Times) – Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday commissioned a water supply station at the Bubi-Lupane Dam in the country’s Matabeleland North province as the government looks to address challenges in accessing clean and safe water.
According to a statement from the presidency, the Lupane Water Supply Station has an installed capacity of 115 million litres and will improve the supply for Lupane area from seven million litres per month in turn satisfying the current demand of 23 million litres per month.
The Bubi-Lupane dam, which was commissioned in 2012, supplies water to Lupane Centre and surrounding villages. The supply station, the statement added, will also provide the Lupane State University with all its water needs.
Zimbabwe has faced occasional nationwide water crises due to poor rains and recurring droughts. The country’s second largest city, Bulawayo, was particularly hard hit last year with the search for clean water becoming a daily struggle.
With that in mind, Mnangagwa added that the government expects to complete the Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Hwange District by December this year to “end water problems in Bulawayo.”
Mnangagwa also commissioned the Bubi-Lupane Irrigation Scheme which has two crops farmed annually: maize and wheat.
The scheme currently has 180 hectares under wheat and is expected by the end of next year to expand its area to 700 hectares.
The news of future expectations of more wheat being farmed comes in the wake of Zimbabwean authorities predicting the country will achieve wheat self-sufficiency this agricultural season for the first time in more than a decade.
Zimbabwe’s government is expecting to harvest 300,000 tonnes of wheat this agricultural season in addition to the 70,000 tonnes already in stock, while the country needs about 360,000 tonnes of wheat annually to meet its demand.
More than 66,000 hectares of land were used to farm wheat this season, according to local media, representing the third-highest portion of land to farm wheat since 1980.