No dry season fears for Zim

Ishemunyoro Chingwere
Zimbabwe’S dams are on average 78,3 percent full, holding sufficient water to get the country through the dry season, the latest State of Water Supply Security Report shows.

The report, released by the Environment, Water and Climate Ministry on August 22, implores the nation to optimise use of stored water for domestic and agricultural purposes. This contrasts with last season when El Nino-induced dry conditions saw Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri lobby Cabinet to declare the dire situation a crisis.

The water security report reads, “The usage of water for both domestic and irrigation purposes is still low to cause significant decline in water storage levels. There is scope for increased uptake of water resources, especially for irrigation for the nation to derive maximum benefits from storage investments.”

Mashonaland Central has the highest provincial dam average at 97,4 percent followed by Mashonaland East and West at 95,8 percent each. Masvingo has an average of 66,4 percent, with the oft-dry Matabeleland South, Bulawayo and Matabeleland North provinces registering 90,6 percent; 85,8 percent and 82,5 percent respectively.

Lake Kariba is 51,7 percent full, with the report noting that water outflow for electricity generation is higher than inflows from Zambezi River.

Tokwe Mukosi Dam averages 71,2 percent. In 2016, domestic water consumers grappled with strict conservation as nearly half of Zimbabwe’s boreholes dried up due to a sharp drop in the water table.

Government subsequently spent at least US$7 million on drought mitigation; principally borehole drilling and repairs as well as water conveyance systems upgrades.

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