Byo dams not silted: Zinwa

Zinwa spokesperson Marjorie Munyonga

THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has dismissed claims that Bulawayo’s perennial water shortages were caused by silted supply dams.

The city has been battling escalating water problems since 2019, prompting the council to resort to water shedding to preserve the precious liquid.

Some of the dams usually last up to July or August with drawable water.

Almost every year, Umzingwane and Upper Ncema are the first dams to be decommissioned due to low levels.

Residents and stakeholders in Bulawayo have always cited siltation of the dams, demanding they be scooped to allow them to increase water holding capacity.

However, Zinwa spokesperson Marjorie Munyonga dismissed the assertions that the six dams supplying water to Bulawayo — Umzingwane, Insiza Mayfair, Mtshabezi, Lower Ncema, Upper Ncema and Inyankuni — were silted.

“In general, for Lower and Upper Ncema, Umzingwane, Inyankuni dams do not receive enough inflows in most years. Mtshabezi and Insiza Mayfair always receive more water compared to the other BCC supply dams,” she said.

“Dams under Zinwa are always properly maintained, and all activities that might cause siltation are closely monitored.”

Munyonga said as at June 14 this year, Inyankuni was 36,9% full, Upper Ncema (46,7%), Lower Ncema (3,1%), Insiza (70,9%) and Mtshabezi (83%).

“BCC is paying an average of $80 million per month and owes us $300 million as of April 2023. Kindly note that payments are not cash, but set-offs,” she said.

BCC currently has in place a 72-hour water-shedding programme.

The local authority said the situation has been worsened by intermittent power cuts leading to long hours of water-shedding in some parts of the city.

Some suburbs have reportedly been going for more than a week without water, a development that the council blames on power outages.

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