According to a cabinet minister, the government has finally given the green light to the long-awaited development master plan for the Tugwi-Mukosi dam and its surrounding areas. The comprehensive document, known as the Combination Master Plan, aims to regulate and guide the development of the country’s largest inland water body. It was prepared by a group of local universities and will be overseen by the Tugwi-Mukosi Combination Master Plan Authority.
The master plan includes various projects such as the development of harbours, holiday homes, golf courses, nature reserves, game viewing areas, and irrigation schemes. Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa stated that the Tugwi-Mukosi dam presented numerous opportunities for development, particularly in the agricultural sector.
She added, “Cabinet approved the Tugwi-Mukosi Combination Master Plan as presented by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable July Moyo. The nation is being informed that the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works commissioned a consortium of universities to prepare the Tugwi-Mukosi Combination Master Plan.”
Furthermore, the plan also includes the establishment of three new irrigation schemes spanning 3,852 hectares, with the expansion of the Banga Irrigation Scheme from 64 to 195 hectares. The Tugwi-Mukosi Dam alone has the potential to irrigate up to 40,000 hectares of land in the country’s Lowveld region.
According to Mutsvangwa, due to its proximity to the Great Zimbabwe Monuments and the Kruger-Gonarezhou-Gazaland game parks, the dam will create a regional tourism belt that will increase the country’s opportunities in tourism and related downstream industries.
To coordinate development across socio-economic sectors, an implementation agency will soon be established. Schools, health centers, business nodes, heritage sites, museums, hotels, lodges, and training institutes will be developed over an area spanning two rural district councils and extending upstream and downstream of the Tugwi-Mukosi Dam. Other developments will incorporate harbours, holiday homes, golf courses, nature reserves, and game viewing areas.
The plan also includes the development of a recreation park and conservation areas, a fish processing plant near Tugwi-Mukosi, and a harbor and lighthouse control tower. In addition, a power generation plant will be established on the dam, providing communities and businesses with clean energy and driving irrigation projects in support of household and national food security.