POLITICIANS are well-known for making exaggerated claims and it is not surprising that they often come to believe their own lies.
However, it is unforgivable for
a senior official of an opposition party to be similarly fooled as shown by the letter from Victor Moyo “MZWP a dangling carrot for Zanu PF”, (Zimbabwe Independent, August 13).
Every report, survey or feasibility study ever carried out on the viability of the project has established that it is completely uneconomical for water from this project to be used for crop irrigation. At best it could be used in emergency situations for stock watering and a small amount for domestic use.
The vision of a “greenbelt” from the Zambezi to Bulawayo, drawing water from this pipeline, is a dangerous illusion which can only lead to disappointment. It is understandable that every proposed source of funding has backed off after preliminary examination of the scheme.
Agricultural produce could be shipped in from the most remote country in the world at a fraction of what it would cost to grow it on irrigated land along this pipeline.
Another fallacy now being acted out is the need for the Gwaai/Shangani dam in this scheme, based upon the mistaken assumption that these two rivers are perennial while in many years they hardly discharge any water at all into Kariba.
A simple calculation shows that water from this dam would evaporate much faster than it could be pumped into it from the pipeline proposed from Lake Kariba.
The MZWP was formed to press for the building of an emergency supply line for Bulawayo in times of drought, which although providing expensive water, would ensure that the city would not run dry.
Pipelines now exist from the Zambezi to Hwange and from Nyamandhlovu to Bulawayo which could be used for this lifeline if they were joined up. This link is delayed by the ambitious and unrealistic dreams of politicians on both sides of the House.