Bongani Ndlovu, Chronicle Reporter
SINQOBILE Dam burst its wall, releasing to waste much needed water that would be hard to find in the dry seasons, something that gravely worries villagers in Insiza in Matabeleland South province.
The dam that was built on a farm in the 1950s is a lifeline for both livestock and people who were resettled there just over a decade ago.
Resettled villagers have tried to rehabilitate the water body on their own to no avail, hence they are worried that if no lasting intervention is found, dry seasons may negatively impact on livelihoods.
The dam located along the Zibomvu river in Insiza’s Ward 22, village four has been a source of water for villagers’ cattle as well as human consumption.
It has two dam walls, that villagers built, but have been destroyed due to the sheer force of the river’s water.
Chronicle yesterday visited the area and observed that much needed water was going to waste.
The crew met up with Mr Japhet Dube who is a member of a committee charged with finding a solution to the dam challenge.
“Zinwa came to help us to fix the spillage wall in 2018. In 2019 the wall was destroyed and we tried again in 2020 and it was destroyed. This area was filled with water all this while and we have tried to fix it every year. This dam was built in 1953 and it has not had any maintenance ever since. We are the only ones who have tried to fix the dam,” said Mr Dube.
He said they had used cement and rocks to try to fix the dam wall.
“When the rains came to this area, we had the dam wall that was collecting water for us. We have a committee that takes care of this dam wall and we bought about 40 bags of cement to fix it. However, our efforts were in vain because now the wall has been destroyed by the rains,” said Mr Dube.
“We were advised that the dam wall should be wide at the bottom and thin at the top so that it can sustain the water’s force. This is what we want to do but we need help from people. The problem is that we are not getting cooperation from other villagers.”
Mr Champion Dube appealed to relevant authorities to intervene.
“The problem that we are encountering is that not many people want to cooperate in fixing this dam wall. We had asked fellow villagers but it has been difficult as some have boycotted not knowing the importance of this dam wall for our livestock,” said Mr Dube.
He said by May the river would have dried up and this was a cause for concern.
“This is the third time that this dam wall has been destroyed. It supplies about 6000 herd of livestock and about 10 villages. All these houses around here are because of this dam,’ said Mr Dube. “Without this dam, I think by end of
May or June we shall not have water for our cattle. We are going to have to travel some 20km to the next source of water. Also, we aren’t sure that come next rainy season we shall receive the good rains that we got these past two seasons.”
Zimbabwe National Water Authority spokesperson Mrs Majorie Munyonga asked for time to look into the matter.