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Small and Medium Dam Development Strategy

The Pungwe Basin Trans-boundary Integrated Water Resources Management and Development Programme, funded by Sida, has as an overall objective to strengthen institutions and stakeholders for joint, integrated and sustainable management of water resources in the Pungwe River Basin in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and to stimulate and support environmentally sustainable development investments that contribute to poverty alleviation. The programme runs for a five-year period and consists of a number of core components focused on institutional development, stakeholder participation, and information and communications systems, as well as seven critical development projects addressing key environmental, social and economic challenges in the basin, amongst others, the elaboration of a small and medium dam development strategy. The programme also includes a facility to identify and assess key development potentials and mobilise investment resources for pro-poor development in the basin (i.e., the establishment of small-scale Grants Fund, a Pre-investment Fund, and the Pungwe Initiative).

A Programme Support Unit (PSU), consisting of a Programme Manager, Assistant Programme Manager, Procurement Officer, Financial Officer and supporting personnel, has been established. Together with an Institutional Development Advisor (IDA) they are assisting the main basin IWRM institutions to plan, coordinate, implement, manage and monitor a range of activities together with basin, national and international partners. Long-, medium and short-term consultants will be engaged to carry out specific tasks under the various programme components. The PSU, together with the IDA, play an important role in capacity building of a range of institutions, but with an emphasis on building that of the Regional Water Authority for Mozambique’s central region, ARA-Centro (where it is located) and the equivalent institution on the Zimbabwean side of the basin, namely ZINWA-Save.

A number of small and medium sized dams were identified in Mozambique as far back as 1973. Similar exercises conducted in 2003 revealed that only a few dams had been constructed since then. A number of water development projects, are either being planned or at various stages of implementation in the basin, which include hydro power and direct water abstraction for small holder irrigation projects, being funded under different programmes/projects. Most of these initiatives are however uncoordinated. The absence of well defined regulations related to both legal and engineering aspects of small and medium dams development as well as various capacity constraints at national and basin level institutions in Mozambique have an impact on the development of the basin’s water resources.

ORGUT was contracted to provide the following administrative services to the Programme: i) Administration of management of the staff of the Project Support Unit (PSU), including the Institutional Development Advisor, as well as contract requested short terms assignments; ii) Administration of the PSU office; iii) Administration of procurement and financial services pertaining to programme expenditures incurred in Zimbabwe. In addition, ORGUT provided optional additional administrative services in the Implementation Phase of the Programme under a contingency budget within the Contract. In line with the term of references, ORGUT facilitated a short term consultancy for a Small and Medium Sized Dam Development Strategy.

The development and rehabilitation of multi-purpose small and medium sized dams in the Pungwe Basin is important for several reasons;

  • providing reliable water supply for irrigation to support small and large scale commercial agriculture (including livestock watering);
  • guarding against droughts and supporting food security amongst subsistence farmers;
  • ensuring adequate water supplies for small towns
  • facilitating the supply of hydroelectric power to small towns and growth points;
  • generally developing storage capacity and regularising water use in the basin.

The Small and Medium Dam Development Strategy was meant to address the fragmented development and uncoordinated planning and resource mobilisation for small and medium dam development. The Strategy identified potential dam sites, existing dams and runoff-abstraction points and design a clear strategy for small and medium dam development/rehabilitation together with relevant stakeholders. It also included an outline of resource mobilisation that will facilitate future investigations and funding for actual dam construction. Staff from ARA Centro was seconded to the project as part of capacity building.

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