Tugwi Mukosi, Zimbabwe’s largest inland lake, has seen its water levels drop drastically, CAJ News Africa revealed. Moreover, if significant rains are not received in the next three months, this really threatens the sugar industry in the Lowveld. Tugwi Mukosi has been supplying irrigation water to Triangle and Hippo Valley Estates over the past three years.
It however did not receive much water the previous rainy season, characterised by low rainfall and its water level is now at a lowly 36.7 percent. When it was commissioned by former president Mugabe after several years under construction, it was 70 percent full.
Some water experts then pointed out that it should only start irrigating the sprawling sugar estates when it was 100 percent full but such advice was disregarded.
To worsen matters, Zimbabwe’s second largest inland lake, Mutirikwi is also down at 36, 9%. The lake is the source of water for Masvingo town and also irrigates the Lowveld sugar plantations. Another supply dam, Bangala is only at 16,2%.
The only dam in Masvingo province which is better off is Manjirenji which supplies water to Mkwasine sugar cane estate. It has 55.6 percent water level.
According to Marjorie Munyonga, the corporate communications and marketing manager for Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA), Masvingo’s dams remain low at a time when the national dam level average has risen from 0.66% to 48.7%.
The water readings were made on January 13, 2020.