MOZAMBIQUE-ZIMBABWE: three agreements on cross-border water management

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MOZAMBIQUE-ZIMBABWE: three agreements on cross-border water management ©Mozambican Ministry of Public Works

The governments of Mozambique and Zimbabwe have signed three agreements on the protection and use of cross-border water in the face of climate change. The rivers that cross the two countries include the Buzi, Pungwee and Save.

The Mozambican Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, Carlos Mesquita, has just completed a State visit to Zimbabwe. During the visit, three agreements were signed with Anxious Masuka, the Zimbabwean Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, including one concerning the creation of the Buzi, Pungwee and Save River Basin Commission. “It is in these basins that we have built the Chicamba, Mavuzi, Muda Nhaurire and Gorongosa hydroelectric dams, projects that are vital to Mozambique’s economic development, because of their contribution to supplying water to the population, agricultural production, electricity, water supply to industry and preservation of the environment”, says Carlos Mesquita.

Mozambique shares these three rivers with Zimbabwe. In addition, there are the Limpopo and Zambezi basins. The second agreement, signed on 18 May 2023 in Harare, the Zimbabwean capital, concerns the hosting of the Buzi, Pungwee and Save River Basin Commission. This commission will work to improve flood and drought forecasting and warning systems, notably by supplying data, and to set up mechanisms for responding to extreme events.

Building new dams

The third agreement signed between the governments of Mozambique and Zimbabwe concerns the development, management and sustainable use of water resources in the Save river basin. This agreement could result in “the joint mobilisation of funds to implement a joint project within a radius of 200 km (100 km on each side)”, according to the Mozambican Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources.

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In Zimbabwe, a dam will be built at Chipanda Pool with a capacity of 510 million m3, as well as a second dam at Chitowe with a capacity of 50 million m3. These infrastructures will be located around 70 km from the border with Mozambique. The allocation system will be defined when the funds are mobilised. And on the Mozambique side, a series of new dams should regulate flows and stimulate the development of agriculture and livestock farming in the provinces of Gaza, Manica, Sofala and Inhambane.

Inès Magoum

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