Families in Matabeleland North who were affected by a project under the Hwange 7 and 8 expansion project are being relocated by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).
Last week, 12 new homesteads were handed over to families affected by the construction of the new 400kv transmission line project in the Epping Forest and Sawmills.
Speaking at the handover ceremony of the houses last week, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Matabeleland North Richard Moyo, said the Epping Forest and Sawmills homesteads constructed by ZPC, gave him hope for the future of Zimbabwe in the global community. He said:
The Government has aligned itself with the World Bank performance standards that are set to improve the livelihoods of displaced persons affected by a project.
The standards state that the livelihoods and standards of living of displaced persons must be restored or improved to pre-displacement levels. In this regard, it is pleasing to note that the standards of living for affected persons in Matabeleland North have been improved from the pre-displacement, as shown by the structures built under the relocation plan.
Minister Moyo said construction of the remainder of homesteads was at various stages of completion, ranging from 70 per cent to 90 per cent.
ZESA executive chairman, Dr Sydney Gata, said the transmission infrastructure required a way-leave of 60 metres, which is spanning from Hwange at Hwange B Substation to Bulawayo’s at Insukamini Substation. He added:
As a responsible corporate citizen, ZESA Holdings embarked on a relocation action plan to build new homesteads for the affected families. The plan has a total of 75 homesteads, with 45 in Matabeleland North Province and 30 in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province.
The government, through ZESA’s subsidiary, ZPC, is implementing the Hwange Expansion Project, which is set to increase the national electricity supply by 600 megawatts.
The national project officially commenced on August 1, 2018.
More: The Herald