Lake Mutirikwi drops to 9 percent
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