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City dam levels double as rainfall pattern holds

by Staff reporter
28 Feb 2021 at 08:48hrs | Views
BULAWAYO residents are set to go for the entire year without experiencing the dreaded water-shedding regime with the city's supply dams continuing to receive significant inflows.

The situation is the exact opposite to what transpired last year, where the city had to declare that some suburbs will go from March without any supplies, with the local authority implementing a 144-hour water shedding schedule, which later worsened to a situation where water was supplied as and when available at the reservoir.

The situation has been further boosted by the recent commissioning of the Epping Forest borehole augmentation project which saw the city get an additional 10 megalitres per day from the boreholes. According to the latest dam statistics, as provided by the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) as of yesterday, the city's dams were 65,6 percent full, compared to the same period last year where the dams were 34,6 percent full, with one dam - Umzingwane - having been decommissioned.

Insiza Mayfair, with a carrying capacity of 173 491 000 cubic metres so far is the dam which is closer to filling up as it is 75,7 percent full. During the same period last year, the dam was 36,6 percent full. Inyankuni, which has a carrying capacity of 80 781 000 cubic metres is 62,2 percent full, compared to 51,8 percent last year.

Upper Ncema which has a carrying capacity of 45 458 500 cubic metres is 69,43 percent full, compared to seven percent last year, with Mtshabezi, which has a carrying capacity of 51 996 000 cubic metres pegged at 58,4 percent of its capacity, compared to last year's level of 57,5 percent. Umzingwane, with a carrying capacity of 44 663 500 cubic metres is 33,9 percent full compared to four percent last year. Lower Ncema, which has a carrying capacity of 18 237 700 cubic metres, as of yesterday is 45,4 percent full, compared to 16,7 percent during the same period last year.

A Sunday News crew visited the dams yesterday where even the locals were all smiles. Recreational companies operating at most of the dams were abuzz with local tourists taking part in various aqua-based activities inclusive of speed boating and fishing. Those interviewed said they were hoping that some of the dams will fill up and spill, a phenomenon that was last witnessed four years ago when five out of the six supply dams were spilling.

"We are obviously happy because the past year has been difficult for us as there was no water at all. This year we are singing a different tune and we hope the Lord blesses us with more water, which will result in the dams eventually spilling," said Mr Dean Moyo.

Contacted for comment, Bulawayo City Council (BCC) director of engineering services, Engineer Simela Dube said so far, the only dam that could reach its capacity, with the current rainfall patterns was Insiza Mayfair dam.

He however, expressed confidence that this year residents will not endure water shedding because the available supplies were enough to supply the city until the end of the next rainy season.

"With the inflows we are getting so far Insiza Mayfair is the only dam which might spill but this is all dependent on the rainfall pattern, but we are honestly happy with the current inflows and remain hopeful that our levels will continue to rise.

"As for water shedding, we will obviously review it at the end of this year's rainy season but we are confident that with what we have we will only go with water rationing (which caps the amount of water to be used per household per day) only this year as we have enough water to last till the end of next year's rainy season," said Eng Dube.

On Thursday, during the commissioning of the Epping Forest boreholes and the groundbreaking ceremony of the Gwayi-Shangani dam pipeline, President Mnangagwa said his administration was moving a gear up in providing a lasting solution to the city's water problems.

The Government funded the rehabilitation of boreholes at Epping Forest in Nyamandlovu and the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam.

Source - sundaynews