Makandi Tea Estates Told to Renovate Dam Professionally

Part of the work at the site Part of the work at the site - pic by Luka Beston

Makandi Tea Estates in Thyolo has been urged to engage professionals in renovating Thunga dam to avoid posing another threat to lives of communities downstream in future.

The dam's spill way was broken due to Cyclone Gombe last week threatening lives of people in villages downstream.

On Thursday, DoDMA officials assessed the renovations of a 1.5-kilometre-long and 100 meters deep dam for Makandi Tea Estates which is used to irrigate tea and macadamia crops.

Speaking to Zodiak, Department of Disaster and Management Affairs (DoDMA)'s Assistant Public Relations Officer Chimwemwe Njoloma said the company should look for long time solution in renovating the dam.

Njoloma has asked the company to engage professionals in renovating the dam so that when the heavy rains come again it should not pose another threat to lives.

“Since our main priority is to protect lives, that's why we will engage them, asking them that the works being done here should be done professionally, considering the people down the tea estate," Njoloma said.

Makandi Tea Estates' Thunga Division Manager, Jolly Mtethiwa, has assured communities that the company is using strong materials and heavy-duty machinery in constructing a new spill way which will stand the test of time.

"From now onwards, our company has hired heavy duty machinery such as D6 and rollers which are coming so that the gullaries created should be filled.

“The company has also procured steel bars, wires, stones and sand so that they construct strong gabions to ensure that the new spill way stand the test of time," Mtethiwa assured.

The incident forced the district authorities to press a panic button warning communities downstream to evacuate to the upland to avert the impending disaster.

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