BY REX MPHISA
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has announced that it is opening the floodgates of Zhovhe Dam after the country‘s 11th largest water body became full following weeks of incessant rains.
Zinwa yesterday warned people living downstream of the huge structure 60 kilometres west of the border town of Beitbridge to be on alert.
“Zhovhe Dam is now full, so the floodgates will be opened today. May you assist in advising those living downstream,” Zinwa said in a statement broadcast by the Beitbridge district civil protection.
Built in 1995 on the lower side of Mzingwane River at a cost of about US$20 million, the Zhovhe Dam with a capacity of 133 million cubic metres was expected to solve Beitbridge’s perennial water woes.
“We are yet to see the irrigations. It has always been talk and nothing is on the ground. Maybe it’s not in our lifetime but we hoped the irrigation scheme for communal people would be a reality,” Andreas Muleya of Tongwe said.
Four years ago Vice-President Kembo Mohadi told Beitbridge villagers that government had secured US$25 million for the construction of a canal that would create a “green belt” and benefit communal farmers heavily reliant on relief food in this dry district.
“Plans for the 3 000-hectare scheme are already being drawn by the department of Agritex,” he said when he was officially opening a leisure resort built by a local farmer and businessman Erasmus Marema.