Zimbabwe - Biggest inland dam in dire straits

13 February 2012

The Southern Times | February 13, 2012

Masvingo - Water levels in Zimbabwe’s largest inland dam, Lake Mutirikwi, in the southern province of Masvingo, have fallen greatly due to irrigation.

Experts attributed the massive drop in Lake Mutirikwi’s levels to a surge in demand from the Lowveld sugarcane plantations.

Major international firms like South Africa-based Tongaat Hullet compete with small-scale producers for the water. Officials at the Zimbabwe National Water Authority say levels are at about 45 percent of capacity compared to the average of at least 50 percent – and a high of 70 percent – in recent years.

Other dams in Masvingo Province, such as Muzhwi, Manjirenji and Siya are at 80 percent, 65 percent and 70 percent capacity respectively.

Lake Mutirikwi was constructed in the late 1950s mainly to supply water to the sugar plantations.


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