Rains shore up water levels in dams

HARARE - Zimbabwe's national dam levels continue to rise consequent to the rains experienced across the country this season.

According to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa), dams such as Mazvikadei, Chivero and Siya are now more than 100 percent full with Manyuchi, Sebakwe, Mtshabezi and Mazowe in excess of 99 percent.

“Mazvikadei Dam is 100,3 percent full, Chivero Dam 100,4 percent, Siya Dam 100,2 percent, while Manyuchi Dam is at 99,8 percent, Sebakwe Dam 99,3 percent, Mtshabezi Dam 99,6 percent and Mazowe Dam 99,7 percent,” Zinwa said.

“Kariba Dam is 72,8 percent full, Tugwi Mukosi Dam 78 percent, Manyame Dam 97 percent, Osborne Dam 86 percent, Manjirenji Dam 88,5 percent, Insiza Dam 82,6 percent, Zhovhe Dam 97,1 percent, Inyankuni Dam 73,9 percent, Mzingwane Dam 67,7 percent, Upper Insiza Dam 67,9 percent and Seke Dam 81,2 percent.”

However, dams such as Mutirikwi, Lower and Upper Ncema are still running low with water levels at an average of 50 percent full.

Further increase in dam water levels comes amid petitions by the water authority for $70 million to refurbish some of the country’s major dams damaged during last year’s heavy rains that triggered floods.

Zinwa management recently said the authority aimed to rehabilitate 266 dams which were breached in the 2016/17 rainfall season.

“This will require a financial outlay of about $70 million. After the floods, we moved around the country taking note or recording all dams which were breached and the rehabilitation of those will cost $70 million,” said the chief executive officer, Jefta Sakupwanya.

This would imply that the figure has more than doubled in less than two years.

As of April 2016, dam maintenance required $33 million, which government could not avail citing financial challenges.

According to Zinwa, the dams now posed a serious danger to human life and infrastructure.

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