Tugwi-Mukosi dam in Masvingo Province spilled for the second time since its commissioning in 2017, raising fears of flooding in downstream areas.
The 1.8 billion cubic metre capacity dam has been receiving constant inflows for the greater part of the current rain season following incessant rains in its catchment that stretches as far as Zvishavane in Midlands Province.
Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) spokesperson Marjorie Munyonga on Sunday said the dam started spilling around 10 AM yesterday.
She said ZINWA alerted other Government departments to be prepared for possible floods in downstream areas. Said Munyonga:
Communities downstream have been advised to be on high alert. We have also notified relevant arms of Government including the Masvingo Department of Civil Protection (DCP) of this development (spilling).
Chiredzi Civil Protection Unit (CPU) chair and district development coordinator Lovemore Chisema advised communities to stay away from rivers. He said:
We urge communities to avoid crossing flooded rivers downstream of the dam(Tugwi-Mukosi) particularly the Runde and Tugwi Rivers which might flood as a result of the spilling. Communities should stay away from rivers together with their livestock.
Tugwi-Mukosi Dam spilled for the first time in January last year following above normal rains that pounded most parts of the country during the 2020/21 summer season.
The dam, built at a cost of around US$250 million at the confluence of the Tugwi and Mukosi rivers, was commissioned in May 2017.