AT THE SIGNING OF THE CONTRACT FOR CONSTRUCTION OF LUSIP II BULK WATER CONVEYANCE SYSTEM
AT THE CABINET OFFICES, MBABANE
TUESDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2017
Head of INES Joint Venture
Chairman of Swaziland Water and Agriculture Development
Enterprise Ltd (SWADE)
Chief Executive Officer of SWADE
Representatives of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my honour, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, to welcome you all here today at my Offices for this important signing ceremony.
When agriculture is the backbone of a country’s economy, as it is with the Kingdom of Swaziland, it ideally reflects two crucial attributes of the country or the people – namely a fertile soil and a population traditionally skilled in farming. We are, indeed, blessed with both.
What remains is ensuring the people have access to two vital factors of production – land and water. The acronym KDDP needs no amplification to a very large number of our people. The Komati Downstream Development Project was the first of the very big recent water conveyance systems, and a project that commissioned into service the Maguga Dam on the Komati River. Through the appropriate infrastructure the KDDP provided a stable supply of water to 6,000 hectares of land for agriculture, further downstream and adjacent to the Komati River.
Water from the Komati Project facilitated the development of over 5,200 hectares and nine potable water schemes, creating 27 irrigated farms, and enabling more than 2,000 households to enter commercial farming, thus benefiting more than 12,000 individuals. Furthermore, 3,200 homesteads were connected to clean water supply and sanitation facilities. It not only took many thousands of our people out of poverty, but also incorporated a displacement programme which was admired in international circles.
Taking a leaf from the KDDP book, Government was motivated to launch a second big water conveyance project which again became well known across the country from its acronym alone. This time it was LUSIP, the Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Project, using water fromthe Lower Usuthu River Basin, and storing it at the Lubovane Dam. So far, the project’s infrastructure has taken water to 5,300 hectares, with the expectation that this will rise to 6,500 hectares. No fewer than 94 have been set up in sugar cane, banana, maize and livestock schemes. Within the project, rooftop water harvesting tanks were constructed and permaculture gardens developed in more than 1,500 households. As many as 3,000 households and around 20,000 people have benefited from the Project to the present day.
There we could proudly contemplate two of the great success stories of the past 20 years – KDDP and LUSIP – and brought together under a newly created national coordinating agency, Swaziland Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise, that we know as SWADE. A further achievement that gives us some pride is that SWADE – an organization requiring many special skills – now has a staffing that is completely localized.
An age-old strategy applied in many walks of life is: you should never change a winning formula. No, we do not. We add to it. Prompted by the success of the existing LUSIP, and accessing water from the same source, an extension to LUSIP was decided upon, and with similar objectives. This made the existing project LUSIP I and the extension itself LUSIP II.
LUSIP II will extend the main canal conveyance system by 36 kilometres to deliver water to the Matata area and thus irrigating a further net area of 5,750 hectares. A tertiary dam system will be constructed, together with the Nsoko conveyance system and the in-field irrigation systems.
What is, again, particularly exciting is that LUSIP II will benefit over 14,000 of our rural population in more than 1,900 homesteads and almost 2,300 households. These fall within the four chiefdoms of Ngcamphalala, Myeni, Matsenjwa and Mngometulu.
His Majesty’s Government appreciates very much the funding committed to LUSIP II by the African Development Bank, European Investment Bank, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
With the finance identified it was now time to carry out the established process of inviting and evaluating tenders. There were seven companies that were pre-qualified and invited to submit bids. From these, the successful bidder selected from the technical and financial evaluations was INES JV, a joint venture between the well-established and experienced Swazi company, Inyatsi Construction, and ESCOR, a South African company.
The amount of the contract is E555 million and the work is targeted to be completed in 30 months. It is a very substantial project for Swaziland and it is our view that we have combined to an optimal degree the use of local human and other resources with the injection of the necessary additional capacity from outside the country.
This is one of a number of contracts that will be undertaken for the entire LUSIP II. During peak times it will bring work on the various construction sites for between 2,500 and 3,500 employees.
I need hardly say to the INES joint venture that yours is a substantial responsibility. You have our trust and it is evident from your respective track records that you will carry out the work to the required standards of efficiency and integrity. I trust that you will receive all the necessary support in your work from Government and SWADE respectively.
It is now my honour to proceed with appending the signature of His Majesty’s Government to the contract with INES JV for construction of the LUSIP II Bulk Water Conveyance System