Consultancy to Conduct Detailed Feasibility Studies and Climate Proof Designs of two (2) Irrigation Schemes – Harare

Full Time
Posted 2 years ago


The consultancy work to be performed by the consultant constituting of 2 irrigation schemes in Masvingo and Matabeleland South provinces.


This is the first stage of the assignment, and the duration shall be 75 Calendar days. For the Gororo Irrigation Scheme the consutant will prepare a detailed Feasibility Study Report taking into consideration all the tasks elaborated below. The report shall be submitted to the Client/PMU for approval before the Consultant proceeds to the Detailed Designs. The specific tasks for the consultant in preparation of the feasibility study reports and detailed designs shall include but not limited to the following tasks;

Carryout Quantitative and Qualitative assessment of Water Resources

  • independently assess surface water availability at each irrigation intake point and determine the maximum and minimum discharges at the water intake structure considering issues of climate change and seasonal variability in the hydrological pattern for the region. *Note that under the climate change scenario in Zimbabwe the consultant will adopt the RCP 4.5 (moderate scenario for climate change in Zimbabwe);
  • analyze water quality for irrigation from the identified water sources including a biological, physical, and chemical analysis of the water quality to determine suitability for use as irrigation water;
  • in the case for river flow diversion, assess the peak design flow with respect to the type of the water intake structure, temporary or permanent;
  • in the case for dam/reservoir abstraction assess the reservoir/dam water balance against demands;
  • assess current water utilization levels on upstream and downstream and determine / recommend actual irrigation areas to be developed and/or extended based on available water resources and information on existing and future demands;
  • collect and analyze climate data to be used in the design of the irrigation schemes, where relevant, from the nearest reliable meteorological stations, to establish a historical series of most critical climate data, or where not available/relevant using monthly reference evapo-transpiration available for the agro-climatic zone and monthly precipitation with probability of exceedance of 80%;
  • use standard statistical procedures for calculation of probable weather parameters used in the design of irrigation schemes including future climate scenarios, such as effective precipitation in the area;

 Note that

  • under the climate proofing scenario in Zimbabwe the consultant will adopt the RCP 4.5 (moderate scenario) for calculation of probable weather parameters;
  • The Consultant is free to propose own format for  the detailed Feasibility Report and designs   during the inception phase that shall be agreed to with the client;
  • RCP 4.5 is the greenhouse concentration trajectory adopted by Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change (IPPC) for intermediate concentration by year 2100.


  • In the case where surface water is considered, assess the availability, suitability and the quantity of surface water resources that can be safely abstracted for irrigation during different months of the growing season at 80% probability of exceedance and possible mitigation measures;
  • from the identified water resources, determine the volume of water available for irrigation for different times of the year including use of dams, ground water, pools, rivers in consideration of downstream users and environmental flow;
  • use standard statistical analysis, in case of rivers, to determine peak and dry season flows, and estimate water availability in the dry season at 80% probability of exceedance;
  • determine the impact on downstream users and recommend appropriate conflict management practices as may be required and dis-aggregate the findings by gender;
  • conduct detailed studies on sites earmarked for dam development and  determination of suitable dam sites, where dams are recommended / required, the consultant will determine the volumes of water that will be available as well as the risks of sedimentation, flooding and possible specific environmental impact and the associated mitigation measures.

Conduct Soils investigations (For New Sites and Extension Areas)

  • conduct detailed soil surveys for agricultural production under irrigation, undertake soil analysis in relation to depth and texture, infiltration rate, soil water holding capacity, hydraulic conductivity, electrical conductivity, pH, salinity, and total dissolved solids. Soil surveys can be done by means of identification of existing soil classes by aerial photograph interpretation, followed by field verification and collection of representative samples.

Conduct Geo-technical Investigations (For Schemes with big civil structures only)

  • carry out the required geo-technical investigation in accordance with the scope of the proposed civil structure that shall include detailed and thorough field investigations of the soils for structural placement;
  • responsible for all field data collection and laboratory tests including but not limited to geological and geophysical surveys and mapping, test pitting, material sampling and laboratory testing;
  • conduct geo-technical sampling for soil stability, bearing capacity, seepage;
  • review and confirm the structural foundation of the hydrological and hydraulic designs for all the structures in a participatory manner in conjunction with the irrigation engineers and PMU Consultant;
  • identify locations of suitable construction materials.

Assessment of Land Use and Irrigated Agronomy on Schemes Area

  • assess land use practices and recommend management practice that will be useful to control land degradation;
  • assess livestock occurrence within the project area, livestock management practice and carrying capacity of the land, and how this will conflict or be compatible with irrigation development;
  • analyze with a gender lens, the land tenure and current land use activities and levels of production; this should include use for agricultural activities, livestock, forestry and how they will be affected by proposed irrigation interventions;
  • identify and promote the production of climate resilient, high yielding and high value crop varieties for each individual site, wherever possible and together with farmers and extension agronomist;
  • determine water requirements for the crops and cropping patterns selected for optimal utilization of the available water supply. For carrying out this task, collaboration between the design engineer and agronomist would be essential;
  • perform conventional economic analyses for both sites to determine the best development option and the viability of the recommended project options specify for both sites the general economic parameters, including but not limited to number of hectares (gross and net), cropping intensity, proposed crops, number of water users, engineer’s estimate of cost per hectare and cost per water user;
  • assess the socio-economic implications of the identified value chain on the youth, women, and all vulnerable gender categories;
  • advise on crop production calendars for the selected crops and cropping patterns;
  • develop site specific guidelines for irrigation scheduling of all the selected crops to be grown in the designed climate proofed irrigation schemes;
  • estimate the water conveyance and field irrigation water losses and determine the required peak design flow for the main, secondary, and tertiary canals and/or pipes;
  • carry out, on irrigation agronomy, investigation of existing farming systems, land holding sizes, crop production patterns, support services and determine gender issues in the factors investigated.

Assess Social-Cultural Aspects

  • collect the names of prospective water users (landowners, tenants) dis-aggregated by gender and assess the land tenure system and present land use, including the proper identification of beneficiaries and ownership of plots, to ensure that absentee landlords and renting systems are uncovered at an early stage. Recommendations shall be made, in full consultation with the beneficiaries, for the equitable distribution of land to be cropped;
  • assess existing beneficiary community-based organization for scheme management, and their capacities to play their role in the development stages of the irrigation schemes. The status of women with respect to decision making, access to and control over land and credit as well as extension services will also be clearly identified. The Consultant is expected to ensure that the outcome of these assessments is properly incorporated into the design of the interventions;
  • Different options for the proposed interventions shall be presented to (in writing, orally and through transect walks) and discussed with farmers, particularly the Irrigation Management Committees IMC(s), and any reasonable change;
  • collect and review all available documents regarding crop, livestock and fisheries production, agricultural practice and cropping patterns of the area;
  • conduct reconnaissance field survey to have an overview of the agronomic practice in the area;
  • determine crop types, land use patterns, crop rotations, crop water requirements, irrigation water schedule master plan;
  • select all proposed crop enterprises through a participatory manner and in collaboration with the beneficiaries and irrigation engineers, and extension agronomists.

Recommend appropriate management institutions to manage schemes

  • utilize regionally recommended best practices on organization and management of irrigation schemes and make appropriate proposals for the institutional and organization setup;
  • draw up detailed plans for capacity building of these organizations to prepare them for self-management.

Financial Analyses

Based on generic criteria the consultant will use these to assess financial viability and use this in proposed prioritization. Schemes that have parameters which indicate lack of economic viability will undergo further inspection, and would need additional justification to be maintained, or be discarded.


  • assess possible commercial private sector involvement in the development of the schemes (including co-funding options as well as Operation and Maintenance);
  • assess potential for contract farming and linkages to a formalized market;
  • assess potential for value addition and related linkages.

Environmental Scoping, Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Reports

  • undertake scoping of all the targeted irrigation schemes and collect all necessary information to identify and confirm significant environmental and social impacts;
  • prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment Report showing the recommended / proposed structural, biological and operational measures to incorporate in the design and operation of the schemes to mitigate or reduce the negative impacts identified in the ESIA report;
  • prepare Environmental Social Management Plan (ESMP) showing the recommended/proposed structural, biological, and operational measures to incorporate in the design and operation of the schemes to mitigate or reduce the negative impacts identified;

For the ESIAs and ESMPs, these will need to be approved by the responsible Authority (EMA)

Detailed Topographic Surveys

  • conduct topographic surveys and intake sites including all associated structures such that the topographic map should include all necessary and relevant structures that need to be developed;
  • ensure that the coordinates of all intersection points, benchmarks and setting out beacons are tied to the National Survey Grid and levels related to the National Benchmarks;
  • locate, delineate, and survey the boundaries of the proposed new/extension irrigation schemes including land-holding sizes;
  • place enough (approximately 1 per 20 ha for schemes less than 100ha) of numerated permanent benchmarks along the boundaries, near the intake, reservoir and within the irrigation scheme;
  • set out and locate a 20m-grid survey over the proposed area, relate it to properly sited permanent benchmarks with a 5 cm maximum tolerance in measured level and the use of a Total Station or Differential GPS is highly recommended;
  • use a Total Station or Differential GPS to ascertain the actual levels especially for control points and canals/pipe longitudinal profile around the scheme;
  • produce location maps (scale: 1:10,000) and sketches for both irrigation sites, and topographic map (scale: 1:5,000) for each new scheme/extended area with detailed contour lines and all relevant permanent structures in the prospective irrigation schemes. 

Design of Irrigation Schemes and/or component to be climate proofed

  • prepare the minimum criteria to be used for the selection of best option and determine at least two feasible development options and discuss these options with stakeholders;
  • prepare conceptual designs for the selected option in the project sites considering issues of climate change and building the resilience among the communities;
  • determine the following key infrastructures from the topographic surveys such as (a) the canal/pipelines/drains alignments and cross sections; (b) location, and size of the intakes and structures, and (c) longitudinal profiles and cross sections of the canals/pipelines/drains to determine the required quantities of earthwork, and canal linings (based on assessments of high permeability, unstable soils, sedimentation, crossings);
  • prepare bill of quantities and cost estimates for the recommended development option for each scheme. 

Prepare climate proofed detailed designs of recommended option

  • The Consultant shall complete all aspects of climate proofing and climate resilient detailed designs of the irrigation scheme and/or identified components on the irrigation scheme(s) during feasibility stage;
  • The Consultant shall prepare Construction Drawings, Bills of Quantities (BoQs), Calculation Note for material quantity estimates, Draft Bidding Documents, Technical Specifications as well as any other documents needed to fulfill the objectives of this assignment. The draft design report will be discussed and reviewed by the Client and PMU.  If the report is found acceptable, the consultant will then finalize the report and submit it for final acceptance by the Client/PMU;
  • In detail, the consultant shall among others prepare the climate proofed detailed designs for the following and make efforts to design robust, climate resilient but cost-effective structures that can easily be maintained and operated by the farmers:

Pumping Stations/River Diversion Structures

  • determine and prepare the climate proof, detailed design of the water-intake structure on the identified water source, considering the sediment load, peak flows in case of streams and the design capacity of the irrigation system – provide detailed engineering analysis, design and drawings for;
    • intake structure and respective spillway including stability and peak flood flow analyses for the selected structure;
    • silt traps and stilling basin structures for prevention of silt deposits at the intake structure and the irrigation canal networks;
    • take into cognizant of upstream degradation and climate change issues in preparation of the designs

?Solar Energy and GRID

For identified scheme(s) design a suitable solar supply for pump station/booster station energy. Note the area to be energized with solar per suitable scheme shall not exceed 30ha

Night Storage Reservoirs

  • designs for night storage dams, core selection, required protection works and operational procedures;
  • prepare detailed design, including drawings and calculations of the storage reservoir embankment, inlets, and outlets, as well as spillway design, using standard hydrological and hydraulic calculations for base, peak, and flood flow;
  • Main, Secondary and Tertiary Irrigation Facilities and Hydraulic structures;
  • prepare detailed designs of the main, secondary, and tertiary irrigation facilities and structures;
  • assess the need for cost-effective canal lining where technically required and economically feasible;
  • conduct hydraulic and stability analysis of the individual structures to ensure proper distribution of water in the irrigation networks;
  • determine suitable locations and prepare detailed design for structures that may be required along the canals/pipelines;
  • assess and recommend the type of construction materials to be used for such structures as culverts, road crossings, outlets, bridges, inverted siphons, flumes and drop structures;
  • ensure the use of standard type of structures to be feasible to facilitate construction and future operation and maintenance.

Drainage System

design the complete drainage system of the scheme, from field to main drain system.

Flood Protection Structures

design any river training and flood protection works that are deemed relevant,  climate resilient and feasible for each irrigation scheme

Scheme Roads

design and position roads within the scheme along canals, and include where necessary bridges, crossings, and all necessary associated structures to allow for accessibility


  • prepare the construction (climate proofed) design drawings with the full involvement of irrigation engineers and PMU consultant;
  • prepare detailed design drawings including longitudinal plan, profiles, and cross-sections of the main, secondary, and tertiary irrigation systems and designs for the respective structures prepare design drawings of representative tertiary blocks including canals and appropriate on-farm distribution systems;
  • prepare detailed design drawings for the intake structure;
  • ensure that the design drawings should provide sufficient details to allow quantity take-offs with reasonable accuracy for the cost estimating purposes
  • the scale for the Topographic Maps will vary between 1:500, 1:1000, 1:2500 or 1:5000
  • the scale for the detailed engineering drawings will vary between 1:10, 1:20, 1:25, 1:50 or 1:100

Bid preparation and confidential Cost Estimates

Prepare Bills of Quantities and confidential project cost estimates for the selected irrigation development in United States Dollar (USD) – to be used for procurement of works contractors.

Construction Schedule

Prepare separate detailed implementation schedules for activities to be carried out by Contractors for each of the scheme that shall include considerations for use of portions on the scheme during the construction period, where feasible.



INCEPTION REPORT (Expected 10 days after signing of contract)

Report to include;

  • An Understanding of the assignment;
  • Detailed Approach and Methodology;
  • Detailed Human Resources Plan;
  • Detailed Work Plan.

FEASIBILITY REPORTS (Expected 60 working days after signing of contract)

Conduct a detailed FS and Prepare individual Feasibility Report for each scheme that shall include but not limited to the following);

  • All aspects addressing the above tasks (Stage A);
  • SEIA studies;
  • Economic and financial analysis of the recommended design options; 
  • Design drawings and calculations for selected option;
  •  Bills of Quantities;
  •  Confidential Project Cost Estimates;
  • Preliminary Implementation and construction schedules.

The report shall be accompanied with all relevant maps, pictures, drawings, calculations, model outputs, geo-referencing, minutes of meetings with local stakeholders and district authorities and project management, and any other relevant details. 

DETAILED DESIGN REPORTS (Expected 65 working days after signing of contract)

Prepare individual design reports for each scheme in the assigned Lot that shall include the following);

  • Summary of All aspects of the above stage A;
  • Economic and financial analysis of the recommended design option, including an analysis of viability;
  • Detailed engineering and structural design drawings and calculations of note for quantities for design 

FINAL COST ESTIMATES AND BILL OF QUIANTITIES (Expected after 70 working days after signing of contract)

Prepare for individual scheme in the Lot;

  • Final (Confidential) Project Cost Estimates;
  • Implementation and construction schedules.


Prepare for each scheme in the Lot;

  • the applicable guidelines for preparation of the bidding documents shall be provided by the PMU and the Standard Bidding Documents acceptable to UNDP will be used;
  • in general, UNDP guidelines will be used the consultant in consultation with PMU will be responsible for preparation of UNDP Conditions of Contract and the following additional documents, for each construction contract;
    • Technical Specifications;
    • Bills of Quantities;
    • Drawings;
    • Supplementary information necessary submission of responsive bids.


The contract shall be deliverable based, up to a maximum of the agreed contract sum. The consulting engineering consultant’s fees shall cover the remuneration of the professional staff as inputs utilized on the assignment, and provision for supporting services necessary to carry out the assignment, direct costs for travel, freight, accommodation, report production and other expenses. In proposing the level, timing and type of professional staff inputs, the consultant shall take due account of the requirements in the tasks and will consider all relevant factors that affect the cost of the assignment.

The Client/PMU shall only be obliged to pay the consultant(s) the agreed amounts upon satisfactory acceptance of the deliverable(s) in writing by the PMU. The PMU Engineer (or other designated engineer) shall ensure that the consultant(s) have duly submitted the deliverable(s) within the agreed time-lines and that the Client/PMU has duly accepted the deliverable(s) in writing and payment has been made to the consultant(s). The amount and schedule of payment of fees shall be in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract agreement finally made between the Client and the consultant.

The qualified consultant shall submit a budget for the assignment and shall get paid based on achievement of the outlined deliverable(s).

Payment will be based on deliverable(s) as per the ‘Deliverable(s)’ outline below. The assignment is expected to commence immediately after the signing of the contract to the successful bidder.The qualified consultant shall receive lump sum service fees upon certification of the completed tasks satisfactorily, as per the following milestone schedule:


Detailed Feasibility and Design Studies


  • 20% on Submission and Acceptance of Final Inception Report after approval by PMU Manager/Irrigation Engineer; 
  • 40% on Submission and Acceptance of Final Detailed Feasibility Reports after approval by PMU Manager/Irrigation Engineer;
  • 40% onSubmission and Acceptance of Detailed Design Reports & Draft Tender Documents &confidential cost estimate after approval by PMU Manager/Irrigation Engineer.


  • The principal responsibility for managing this assignment lies with the UNDP Country Office, Zimbabwe. UNDP will contract the consultant and ensure the timely provision of costs. UNDP will facilitate the consultant’s engagement with stakeholders, and coordinate with stakeholders and Government officials.

    The assignment will be under the overall guidance of the UNDP Head of PRECC and day to day supervision from the Project Manager with technical guidance from the project irrigation expert engineer and the Department of Irrigation.



  • The purpose of the engineering consultant is to provide a specialised technical service to the UNDP Country Office Zimbabwe, in particular the CAWEP PMU and its partners in planning, and implementing climate proofed smallholder systems that will strengthen the adaptive capacities of vulnerable smallholder farmers, especially women, to climate change induced impacts on their agro-ecosystems.




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