Sunday, September 24, 2023
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Dam levels break records

THE major interior dams currently hold 92 percent of their combined capacity with almost 65 percent now full as a result of the good rainy season.

This ensures enough stored water for irrigation, urban use and rural industrialisation, with even some Bulawayo dams now starting to spill.

For Lake Kariba, which is not included in the Zinwa irrigation and urban totals, the critical measure is the amount of water stored above the intake valves for the two power stations rather than the much larger total volume.

Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) corporate communications and marketing manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said 64,9 percent of the major dams were spilling by Thursday last week.

“Notable increases were recorded in dams such as Blockley, Mazowe, Upper Insiza, Insiza, Mtshabezi, Tugwi-Mukosi, Upper Ncema, Mzingwane, Bangala and Ruti,” she said.

Zinwa continues to remind all water users intending to draw water from Zinwa-managed dams in the coming irrigation season to come forward to renew or apply for water abstraction agreements, so their water allocations are reserved in the dams for their use.

Dams already spilling before the latest batch include Amapongokwe, Chivero, Upper Insiza, Mananda, Mazvikadei, Exchange, Biri, Kushinga-Phikhelela, Arcadia, Mwenje, and Lower Zibagwe.

The brutal effects of climate change and the need to be more efficient in agricultural production necessitates that the country maximises on efforts to bring water close to the production sites and hubs.

Therefore, to increase water catchment, the Government is spearheading the construction of 12 more large dams, described as high impact dams, towards the modernisation of the agricultural sector to ensure timely and guaranteed food security for the nation.

Dam water is crucial in agro-based rural areas as agricultural production zones are Vision 2030 accelerators through maximisation of production of cash crops and major foreign currency generating crops such as tobacco, cotton and sunflower thereby empowering rural economies.

Farmers are positive that they will embark on winter farming, mainly wheat this year, as dams continue to fill up across the country.

Zimbabwe National Farmers Union (ZNFU) president Mrs Monica Chinamasa said dams are crucial as they promote agricultural production.

“The rising dam levels are crucial as they promote winter farming. Water bodies should be protected so that we benefit from them,” she said.

“Farmers who are near these dams should use the water for agricultural production. They need to use the water wisely in order for us to improve productivity.

“This will go a long way in improving agricultural activities and boost production, so we also expect more production”.

The Meteorological Services Department has predicted good rains during the 2022-23 season, brightening prospects for a good harvest.



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