Monday, May 20, 2024

Masasabi irrigation dam walls crack threatening 2000 farmers

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Dam walls of the Masasabi Irrigation dam in Shimbizhi chiefdom in Itezhi Tezhi district in Central Province have started showing signs of cracks threatening over 2,000 smallholders on the downstream should the dam burst.

The Masasabi dam, which holds back the water reservoir, requires urgent maintenance to prevent its collapse, a disaster that could affect more than 2,000 small holder famers and defeat the whole purpose of its construction.

Itezhi Tezhi District Commissioner Hendrix Kaimana who visited the dam was dismayed at the extent of the damage of the dam.

He said that torrential rain experienced in February has damaged the foundation of the earthen dam wall.

Mr. Kaimana explained that a portion of the earthen wall of the dam has been severely eroded and may burst and send thousands of litres of water down the stream anytime.

Mr. Kaimana said the dam, which is the only source of water for the resettlement scheme is a tragedy in waiting and warned of catastrophic disaster unless government moves in to repair the damage.

The commissioner has appealed to people in the resettlement scheme to stop walking on the dam wall as it may collapse anytime.

The facility which is at 80% complete was built by the government at the total cost of K135,000 meant to support 728 farm plots in Masasabi resettlement scheme and for fish farming but is not yet operational due to inadequate funds to complete the works.

Meanwhile Chairman for the Masasabi Resettlement Scheme Famers Coordinating Committee Mr. Ignatius Mundia has appealed to the Disaster Management Unit in the Vice President‘s Office to come to the aid of the dam.

He said that it is going to be a disaster to have a dam constructed at huge cost to the taxpayer only to collapse before being operational.

He said that there is need for government to source funds and repair the dam as well as complete the 20% remaining works.

Mr. Mundia said that there has been mounting concerns over the quality of the works on the dam and the irrigation canals.

He said that some constructed canals have since started collapsing and the reservoir tanks have been neglected and covered in tall grass since contractors abandoned the facility.

He said that Masasabi resettlement was going to be food basket for Itezhi Tezhi district by now if only works were completed.

In 2013, the structural integrity of the dam was raised when the then Minister in the Vice President’s Office Davies Mwango toured the dam.

5 COMMENTS

  1. This is without doubt engineering failure or the contractors’. Kindly go to the root and see who did this poor quality of a job. If you find out how, jail ’em.

  2. GRZ engineers who supposed to be clearing these works need to be jailed….they have probably been bribed.

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