It has been reported that construction of the access road on the Zimbabwean side of the Zambezi River, linking the proposed Batoka Gorge dam site and the main Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Highway, has begun. The road, which runs through Chisuma Area in Hwange District, will see scores of villagers being relocated.
Media reports claim two companies have already started clearing land for the roads and have built office stations in preparation for the construction. The access roads are expected to be completed within nine months before machinery and materials for the hydro-electric project can be brought to the dam site itself.
Matabeleland North Governor and Resident Minister Thokozile Mathuthu yesterday said she was happy that the project was finally taking shape, saying that the relocation of villagers was of little significance compared to the magnitude of the project.
"This is a project that is going to benefit the whole country. It is going to benefit the industries and we hope it will also attract investors because once completed, we will have abundant power supply," she said. "Given the magnitude of the project, communities within the radius of the area of development are expected to be relocated." Governor Mathuthu said the locals would benefit through labour supply.