Africa-Press – Zambia. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) says it will repair the extensively damaged Masasabi irrigation dam in Itezhi Tezhi district, Southern province. ZANIS reports that this information was disclosed at a stakeholder meeting on the rehabilitation of the Masasabi irrigation dam in Kaanzwa ward, which was held at Musungwa Safari Lodge in Itezhi Tezhi.
WWF will repair the dam under the Zambezi Trans-frontier Conservation Area (KAZA-TFCA) over a 35-day period for an estimated cost of €112,836.90 Euros (K2, 253,738).
The funding is provided in part by the German government’s COVID-19 Emergency Program. It will be a labor-intensive project in which local stakeholders will contribute labor and other resources. KAZA-TFCA was signed on 18th August 2011 by five countries namely Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Mr Twaambo Mutinta, an Itezhi Tezhi Member of Parliament, who spoke at the meeting , praised WWF for undertaking the dam rehabilitation stating that the dam rehabilitation will boost agricultural productivity at the Masasabi resettlement scheme.
Mr. Mutinta said that the rehabilitation of the dam, damaged on its spillway over a number of years , will increase agricultural productivity at Masasabi resettlement scheme.
“The Masasabi irrigation dam supports more than 728 farm plots in the Masasabi resettlement scheme” Mr. Mutinta said The lawmaker urged all the stakeholders to ensure that they honour their commitments in terms of labour and equipment.
Meanwhile, Itezhi Tezhi Town Council Secretary, Justin Chombo stated that dam rehabilitation is critical because it has the potential to increase benefits for the entire district.
“The dam once rehabilitated will create a new phase of development in Itezhi Tezhi district” Mr. Chombo said. He stated that the local government will provide all necessary assistance to rehabilitate the dam’s works.
Masasabi dam was built between 1999 and 2001 with World Bank funding through the Ministry of Agriculture’s Rural Investment Fund for irrigation and fish stocking purposes.
The dam has a capacity of 124 million cubic meters, as well as a height of 7.5 meters and a length of 120 meters. The infrastructure sustained extensive damage between 2013 and 2021, and its repair has not been a consistent request by the Masasabi resettlement community.