Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
The Kwekwe District Civil Protection Unit (CPU) has warned members of the public over possible flooding and dam overspilling.
This follows flash flooding that has hit some parts of the district following heavy rains that have been pounding the country.
Poor drainage systems have also not helped matters as some roads have been literally turned into rivers giving motorists a hard time as they contend with flooded roads and potholes at one go.
As a result of the incessant rains, most water bodies have been filled to capacity in the district.
Acting Kwekwe CPU Chairperson, Mr Clemence Muduma said Government was closely monitoring dams across the district and warning nearby families against staying close to river banks.
“We are in constant touch with bailiffs across the district as we constantly monitor the situation of our water bodies most of which are now overspilling. Marryville Dam, Marryville 13 dam, Kwekwe River, Patrice Dam, Connemara and Sebakwe Dam are the ones that we are constantly monitoring,’ said Mr Muduma.
He said, although no family has so far been evacuated, the CPU was raising awareness across the district for families that are staying along rivers.
“We are saying no family should be found staying at least 100 meters from river banks. We have targeted mostly those staying along Kwekwe River and Sebakwe River. They are the ones who are exposed. We are also monitoring those that are staying near Sebakwe Dam and Connemara Dams in case of overspilling,” he said.
Redcliff Town Clerk, who also sits in the taskforce, Mr Gilson Chakauya, has since warned that Connemara Dam had filled to maximum capacity and was already overspilling, and offered precautionary measures.
In a notice, Mr Chakauya urged all those residing 1 100 meters from Kwekwe River and Cactus Dam, to immediately move to safer areas and desist from attempting to cross flowing or flooded rivers.
Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA), Corporate Communications and Marketing Manager, Ms Marjorie Munyonga said most dams have hit the 100 percent mark.
“The country has recently been receiving a lot of rains and as a result most major dams in the Midlands Province such as Sebakwe which supplies Kwekwe, Gwenhoro and Amapongokwe which are main sources of water for Gweru, Nyamafufu and Impali which supplies Mvuma and Shurugwi respectively, have all hit 100 percent mark in terms of the amount of water that they can now carry,” said Ms Munyonga.
She said the average dam level for the province as at January 7, stands at 99 percent with only a few dams yet to reach 100 percent mark.
She confirmed that some dams where overspilling.
“We already have dams in Midlands Province that are spilling such as Sebakwe in Kwekwe, Ngondoma in Zhombe and Insukamini Dam in Lower Gweru. The fact that most dams are already full midway through the wet season, naturally means the risk of flooding especially for those living downstream of major dams, cannot be ruled out,” she said.
ZINWA has since deployed water bailiffs at all major dams across the country whose job among other things, is to proactively monitor water levels while making sure the downstream communities are informed of any possible disasters and where necessary advise them to evacuate.