Source: Sufficient irrigation water in some dams: Zinwa | The Herald September 2, 2016
The country still has a lot of unused irrigation water in various dams. Zimbabwe being an agro-based economy, such a development is very worrying especially in light of the low rains that the country received this year as well as the impact of climate change on rain fed agriculture. This means irrigation’s relevance will continue to grow and the embracing of this reality should be seen by a corresponding uptake in irrigation water from the hundreds of ZINWA managed dams across the country.
While ZINWA has, for the better part of the year, emphasised on the effects of the El Nino induced drought on some of the country’s water bodies, it should be noted that in some provinces and catchment some dams are almost full at this time of the year with the high levels being a culmination of some better rains in those provinces and water balances the dams had from the previous seasons.
This should bring smiles on the faces of all farmers interested in irrigation taking into account that water is the most important for agriculture only after land.
The authority is therefore encouraging all farmers interested in irrigation to come forward and sign water abstraction agreements that will allow them to legally draw water.
A number of dams in Mashonaland West, East, Central and some parts of the Midlands still have healthy water levels that can help transform the fortunes of many farmers at the same time contributing to the country’s food security and economy.
As at August 26, 2016, Mazvikadei dam situated near Banket in Mashonaland West was 85,5 percent full while Manyame Dam’s level stood at 80,9 percent.
Biri Dam in the same province is 87,5 percent while in Mashonaland East Nyambuya Dam is 90,5 percent full, Kushinga Phikelela Dam 45 percent and Rufaro Dam stands at 81 percent. Wenimbi Dam in the same province is 90,2 percent full.
In the Midlands Mundi Mataga Dam is 89,2 percent full with Matezva Dam being 59 percent full.
These are some of the dams whose levels are sufficient to sustain fully fledged irrigation activity.
This availability of water, coupled with the tariff reduction that ZINWA effected in December last year should help trigger an urge for farmers to venture into irrigation agriculture and help compliment Government efforts such as the distribution of irrigation equipment sourced through bilateral arrangements with countries such as Brazil.
Farmers, especially those in the provinces whose dams still hold sufficient water should approach ZINWA and sign water abstraction agreements.
Agreements will guarantee the farmers’ access to water as ZINWA will, once an agreement is entered into; reserve the farmers’ water allocations in the dams.
This water will not be allocated to anyone else during the subsistence of the agreement. Irrigating without the agreement is an offence under the Water Act and offenders are liable to prosecution.
While some dams have sufficient volumes of water to sustain large scale irrigation activities, there are some dams whose levels are worrying and ZINWA continues to emphasise on the need for water efficiency in the fields, homes and industries.
Water efficiency helps us make the best out of the limited water resources and also help users reduce their monthly bills.
For more information please contact the ZINWA Corporate Communications and Marketing Department on [email protected] or visit www.zinwa.co.zw. You can also like the Zimbabwe National Water Authority Facebook Page or Call the ZINWA Call Centre on 850 261/066 or 0867 700 4336.