Chinese firm signs contract for Metolong dam

MASERU — Chinese construction company, Sinohydro Corporation Limited says it expects to employ at least 400 locals during the construction of Metolong Dam.

The company revealed this on Monday during the signing of a contract with the Metolong Authority for the construction of the Metolong Dam and Raw Water Pump station.

Sinohydro Corporation’s Cao Yuesheng said another 100 Chinese would be engaged in managerial positions to oversee the project.

“The locals who would be engaged will be given training,” he said.

He added that local contractors would be given sub-contract jobs depending on their areas of specialisation and capabilities.

Sinohydro Corporation Limited said the M540 million project represents a major milestone in the realisation of the Metolong Dam and Water supply project.

The Metolong project which is expected to be completed by 2013 is being funded by the government of Lesotho, South Africa, the World Bank, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the European Investment Bank.

The project is divided into five components including: advance infrastructure planning, the construction of the Metolong dam and raw water pumping station, water treatment works, the construction of a downstream conveyance system, and environmental and social management.

The dam will provide 75 000 cubic metres of water per day to Maseru and the surrounding towns of Roma, Mazenod, Morija and Teyateyaneng.

The dam wall to be built on the Phuthiatsana River in the Thaba-Bosiu area will be 73 metres high.

It will have the capacity to hold 53 million cubic metres of water.

Metolong Authority’s chief executive Adris Mahmoud said the construction of the dam is part of Lesotho government’s commitment to improve access to clean water for Basotho.

He said apart from improving water supply for domestic use to Maseru and the surrounding towns the Metolong project will also stimulate the country’s economy.

“A reliable water supply will lead to continued development of manufacturing and textile industries. This will in turn result in job creation, food production and poverty alleviation,” he added.

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