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Bulawayo dam levels still depressed

BY PATRICIA SIBANDA

Water levels in Bulawayo city’s dams remains low at 53% despite the heavy rains that pounded the area over the past few weeks with the Bulawayo City Council saying it is still reviewing plans to decommission Umzingwane Dam.

Last month, BCC announced plans to decommission the dam after the water levels went down to 6.7%.

BCC Engineer Sikhumbuzo Ncube told The Southern Eye on Sunday said it was not automatic that inflows to the dams would immediately rise despite the current good rains.

“Indeed there is too much rain in the city but not where our dams are situated. Therefore, we are still examining Umzingwane dam so that we can make a decision on whether to decommission it or not,” Ncube said on the side-lines of the water and sewerage services improvement project, water and services delivery indaba that was held at the Large City Hall in Bulawayo on Friday.

He also said the ground water level has not significantly increased.

“The ground water level is a little high but the inflows are seriously not that much. We make use of a gauge so that we can see how far the water has gone up, but as of now nothing is showing in terms of that dam,” Ncube said.

Ward 17 Councillor Sikhululekile Moyo said the current dam water levels in Bulawayo were averaging 53%.

“We are currently looking at 53% dam water levels for all the dams combined in the city. The situation at Umzingwane dam is not looking good as it is sitting at 5, 7% compared to last time,” Moyo said.

If the decommissioning is done, the development is set to pile more misery on residents who are currently grappling with water-shedding.

Ncube said they recommissioned Umzingwane last year when it was at 16% in terms of water levels.  He said the Upper Ncema Dam was also recommissioned two years back when it was at its lowest.

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