George Maponga in Masvingo
Zimbabwe’s largest inland dam, Tugwi-Mukosi in southern Masvingo, spilled for the first time on Saturday evening following incessant rains in its catchment.
The water body, with a capacity of 1,8 billion cubic metres has never hit 100 percent since its commissioning in May 2017.
The historic event has spawned fears of flooding in Tugwi and Runde rivers downstream of the water amid fears of increased water volumes.
A tweet posted on its page this morning the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) showed a picture of the spilling dam accompanied by the message “For the first time since its commissioning in 2017, Tugwi-Mukosi is 100 percent full and spilling.”
Tugwi-Mukosi’s spilling means the dam has impounded enough water for irrigation for the forseeable future in a move that dovetails with plans by Government to create a perennial greenbelt in the Lowveld.
Government and its development partners have been preparing for the worst after spilling of the dam amid reports at least 250 families in southern Chivi,Mwenezi and Chiredzi, downstream of the confluence of Runde and Tugwi rivers might be severely affected by the floods.
Camps to provide temporary shelter for flood-stricken families were set up at Chingwizi Camp and Chilonga Secondary School.
Tugwi-Mukosi was initiay billed to irrigate 25 000ha but advances in irrigation technology saw the figure being ramped up to more than 40 000ha.