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Community Water Alliance lobby government for dam safety investment

by Kudakwashe Vhenge

By Staff Reporter

Community Water Alliance (CWA) a civic organization that does advocacy on water governance issues has urged the government and all stakeholders to vest their money in dam safety studies as a way of raising awareness towards dam refurbishment.

This comes after the organization cited that this year’s heavy rains resulted in the destruction of dams across the country.

In a statement, CWA said

“Community Water Alliance implores government and stakeholders in the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector to invest in dam safety studies.

These studies should inform decision making going forward and guide investment in dam refurbishment as a preventative solution to challenges at hand. Proper management of catchments should encompass dam safety assessments,” reads the statement.

This year’s excessive rains are historic. The statement indicates that Zimbabwe last received its highest amount of rainfall in 1970.

“This year 2021 Zimbabwe has received the highest amount of rainfall since independence in 1980. The amount of rainfall received is the second highest since the year 1970,” CWA cited in their statement.

CWA also highlighted that despite celebrating a huge rise in dam levels to ensure there is adequate water countrywide, the incessant rains will also cost the government $187 million US dollars to repair damaged water reservoirs.

Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Munyaradzi Munodawafa, told a local publication that an increase of 0,40 metres or 0.08 per cent from December 22 2021 to January 18 2021 were experienced in Kariba dam.

The ZRA also indicated that Kariba water levels have raised above 15 percentage points for 25, 64 per cent usable water.

According to an article that was published by The Herald, as of January 25 2021, national dam levels average was at 79,7 per cent to full capacity.

Sanyati catchment was said to have the highest dam level average with 100,2 percent showing that almost every dam in that area  is now full and spilling. Whilst Gwayi catchment was said to have recorded 98.5% cited as the second highest and Runde recoreded 86%.

Mzingwane dam is at 78,2 percent and Save recorded 67,1 per cent, whilst Mazowe is at 51,2 percent.

Other dams such as Manyuchi, Tugwi-Mukosi from Masvingo, Sebakwe in Midlands, Zhovhe in Beitbridge, Silalabuhwa in Mat South, Bubi-Lupane in Mat North and Upper Insiza in Mat South all reached capacity with most now spilling.

Furthermore, CWA said the historic rains will be a huge cost to the nation which has not put in place a budget to repair damaged dams.

In their statement, CWAs information department also stressed that Zimbabwe’s WASH sector is already struggling from a paltry budget that was allocated in the country.

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