DAM levels have increased but they remain low despite the recent rains, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) corporate communications manager Marjorie Munyonga has said.

Munyonga said as at March 2, the national dam level average had risen to 55, 4 percent marking a 0, 11 percent increase since February 24 this year.

She was, however, quick to point out that national dam level average is far lower than the 69 percent expected during this time of the year.

“Gwayi Catchment had a dam level average of 54 percent, Manyame Catchment 75, 6 percent, Mazowe Catchment 79, 3 percent, Mzingwane Catchment 52, 3 percent, Runde Catchment 51, 5 percent, Sanyati Catchment 51, 5 percent and Save Catchment 62, 9 percent,” Munyonga said.

The ZNWA spokesperson emphasized the need for Zimbabweans to use the available water sparingly, while also stating that all those users intending to use raw water from dams it manages should do so in line with the country’s laws.

According to a dam levels schedule the water bodies with the highest levels are Bangala at 101, 2 percent full, Silalabuhwa 100, 2 percent, Kotwa and Masembura dams at 100 percent each and Lower Mgusa at 98, 5 percent.
The dams with the lowest water levels are Mzingwane at 4, 9 percent, Upper Ncema 8 percent and Lower Ncema 8, 6 percent.

Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) President Hosiah Makombe has, however, warned that the recent rains should not make the government renege on its promise to construct more dams.

Makombe said the rainfall pattern was not equal in most parts of the country as some local authorities are still not getting enough rains as seen in some parts of the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces.

“We still need government to honour their promise to build those dams as they cited in the 2020 National Budget. If we get those dams then all the water that we are getting will be harnessed for the greater good of the country instead of being wasted as run-off. Dams should be the number one priority in 2020,” said the UCAZ president.

During the presentation of the national budget, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said provision of adequate sanitation services and water was key to human survival hence its budget allocation.

“The strategic focus for water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) sector during 2020 budget is to restore basic water and sanitation services through maintenance, rehabilitation and upgrade of infrastructure, harnessing of water through construction of dams, weirs, borehole rehabilitation and drilling, and water and sanitation in our urban areas.

“Accordingly the following projects have been prioritised in the 2020 budget Gwayi-Shangani Dam ($400 million), Causeway Dam ($128 million), Chivhu Dam ($192 million), Kunzvi Dam ($259 million), Semwa Dam ($216 million), other dams ($205 million), water supply schemes ($113 million), local authorities water and sanitation ($311 million),” Ncube said then.