Bleak picture painted as Government says dams are 51 percent full
DAMS in Zimbabwe are on average 51 percent full, and the water is not enough to last the country until the next season.
Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri told journalists that the current levels may not sustain water requirements until the next rainy season.
“The country’s dams are on average 51 percent full at a time when we usually have dams spilling. These are chilling effects of the climate phenomenon which has not only affected Zimbabwe, but the whole SADC region,” she said.
Muchinguri said the situation paints a bleak picture as some towns and cities will have to resort to strict water management strategies.
Muchinguri urged all citizens to use water sparingly.
“Citizens of Zimbabwe, this address is a clarion call for all of us to be highly responsible and adopt measures that will ensure that we go through the drought period together,” she said.
Water levels across the country are generally low and continue on a sharp decline due to the erratic rains received as a result of the global El Nino effect.
Since the beginning of the rainy season last October, Zimbabwe has received mostly below normal rainfall.Muchinguri said most of the dams are drying up and for instance in Manicaland, Osborne dam stands at 33 percent, Chesa and Mazowe dams in Mashonaland central are at 33 percent and 31 percent full respectively.
She said ground water levels especially in cities such as Harare are also under threat as the water table continues to drop because people have resorted to use of ground water as an alternative to municipal supply.
“Our water sources are drying up in all the seven catchments namely Runde, Save, Manyame, Mazowe, Sanyati, Gwayi and Mzingwane due to rainfall patterns over the past 5 years,” she said.
The current low water levels have also affected Kariba Dam, the source of the country’s hydro electricity supply.
This has resulted in generation capacity dropping by more than 25 percent as a result plunging the country into a power crisis that has since been slowly averted through power imports.
Apart from the power challenges, the agricultural season is also affected with several parts of the country having written off their summer crops. FinX
Follow us on Twitter on @FingazLive and on Facebook – The Financial Gazette