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Italy sets conditions for major dam project

Italy said on Monday it would only go ahead with a US $40 million dam project for Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo if the Zimbabwean government provides a time-table and obtains donor funding for a pipeline to deliver the water.

“We do not want this project, which was agreed in July, to become a white elephant,” Luca Fratini, the Italian embassy’s first secretary told IRIN. The proposed Gwayi-Shangani dam is expected to help bring relief to one of the most arid areas of Zimbabwe.

It would provide a new water supply for Bulawayo and enable much of the city’s current supply to be allocated to the drought-stricken areas of Matabeleland South.

“Over the past two to three years, Italian aid to Zimbabwe has amounted to roughly US $70 million,” he said. “This dam is a very important project, one of the kind of projects that has to be supported and encouraged by donors, and we are still quite optimistic that they will come up with the donor funding for its pipeline.”

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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