DESPITE the heavy downpours experienced in Zimbabwe since the beginning of the rainy season, particularly the past fortnight, the country’s water bodies remain way below expected averages, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has said.
By PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
The national average, which is currently standing at 49%, and down by 11%, has been weighed down by the low volumes in some of the large dams like Mazowe, Manjirenji, Mutirikwi, Lower and Upper Ncema as well as Osborne dams, most of which are still less than 30% full.
Zinwa corporate communication and marketing manager Merjorie Munyonga said the recent rains had had a positive effect on dam levels, but the volume was still below the average expected at this time of the year.
“The national dam level average had risen to 49,0%, by January 10, which shows a rapid change since the last recording, though the figure is still below the national average expected during this time of the year. The dam level average is usually around 60% during this period of the year,” she said.
The dams with the lowest volumes are Mazowe 4%, Manjirenji 10,7%, Mutirikwi 7,4%, Lower Ncema 16,7%, Upper Ncema 19,1% and Osborne 28,8%
However, some smaller dams have already filled up after the heavy downpours that has seen authorties issuing flood alerts.
Khami, Nyambuya, Odzani, Wenimbi, Lower Mgusa and Zhove are among those now at full capacity.
The remaining dams are between 50% and 90% full, namely Mtshabezi 50,3%, Bubi Lupane 57,5%, Insunkamini 92%, Chivero 66,2%, Sebakwe 55%, Manyame 80,1%, Mazvikadei 82%, Kushinga Phikelela 90,2% and Rufaro 85,2%.
Munyonga said farmers and other water users should use the resource sparingly and make sure they have signed water agreements.
“The authority also appeals to irrigating farmers and other raw water users to ensure that they enter into water abstraction agreements with Zinwa as is required under the Water Act. Any use without the necessary documentation is illegal and offenders are liable to prosecution or risk having their supplies disconnected,” she said.