Lake Mu­tirikwi drops to 9 per­cent

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Walter Mswazie Masvingo Cor­re­spon­dent

THE wa­ter level in Masvingo City’s main sup­ply dam, Lake Mu­tirikwi, has dropped to nine per­cent amid fears that if the rains do not fall by De­cem­ber, sup­plies to sug­ar­cane es­tates in Chiredzi will be cut.

Lake Mu­tirikwi sup­plies Masvingo City, the Lowveld and Renco Mine in Masvingo South.

Zim­babwe Na­tional Wa­ter Au­thor­ity (Zinwa) Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer Mr Tsun­giri­rai Shoriwa said peo­ple must pre­serve wa­ter.

“As at Oc­to­ber 14, 2016, Lake Mu­tirikwi was 8,9 per­cent full. In terms of wa­ter sup­ply to the City of Masvingo, the wa­ter still sat­is­fies the 21-month car­di­nal rule, which means the lake can sup­ply for more than 21 months at its present ca­pac­ity.

“How­ever, there is an agree­ment that wa­ter sup­plies to the Lowveld can be stopped in De­cem­ber if the sit­u­a­tion does not im­prove,” said Mr Shoriwa.

He said the tim­ing of the stop­page was agreed to be­tween sugar es­tates and Zinwa as at that time, the cane will not be prone to dam­age.

Mr Shoriwa said the au­thor­ity was closely mon­i­tor­ing the re­lease of wa­ter to the Lowveld and Masvingo.

“At any given mo­ment, when there is wa­ter dis­tress, pri­or­ity is given to hu­man life, mean­ing that when the sit­u­a­tion de­te­ri­o­rates fur­ther, Masvingo City gets first pref­er­ence. Zinwa is work­ing closely with the users and other stake­hold­ers in the Lowveld to see how the sit­u­a­tion can be mit­i­gated,” he said.

He said the sit­u­a­tion in all the five ma­jor dams in Masvingo is not en­cour­ag­ing and pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures need to be taken to avert a dis­as­ter in case the rains do not fall as ex­pected.

Lake Mu­tirikwi in Masvingo District has the least wa­ter at 8,9 per­cent, with Muzhwi Dam in Mashava stand­ing at 10,1 per­cent, Man­jirenji in Chiredzi 11,9 per­cent; Ban­gala in Masvingo South, 12,6 per­cent while Siya Dam in Bikita District is 28,2 per­cent. — @ wal­terbm­swazie2

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