Agric, Environment & Innovations Editor
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) says Mazowe Dam – a major water supply dam for irrigation activities in the Mashonaland Central province will not be filled up even if the country has recorded above – normal rainfall in the current rainy season.
Zinwa spokesperson Majory Munyonga told The Herald yesterday that it will take two rainy seasons for it to be filled up to normal capacity.
“As at March 19, 2021, Mazowe Dam was 40.9 percent full. Ordinarily Mazowe Dam requires two seasons of normal rains to fill up,” she said.
Munyonga said poor rains in the catchment area of the dam upstream had led to a decline in water flows into the dam.
She said the above – normal rainy season experienced in various parts of the country will do very little to raise the water levels at Mazowe Dam due below normal rains in its catchment area.
“The dam had dropped to as low as 9 percent at the beginning of the current rain season.
In addition to the dam having dropped so sharply in the past year, the dam’s catchment has received below normal rains in the current season leading to highly subdued inflows into the dam,” she said.
“The performance of Mazowe Dam’s catchment area in the current season is in sharp contrast to that of most parts of the country.”
A rainfall update by the Meteorological Services Department as at the March 17 2021 showed that the Henderson Research Rainfall Station upstream of Mazowe Dam had measured a cumulative rainfall amount of 484.3mm which translates to 57 percent of the 853.4mm normally expected at that time of the year in this agro-ecological zone.
The dam which last spilled in April 2018, had recorded the lowest inflows among all the major in-land dams in the country.
Mazowe Dam was built across the Mazowe River in 1918 for irrigating citrus plantations and other crops such as maize, soya beans and wheat.
The dam holds 39 million cubic metres of water and has a surface area of 445 ha when full.