National dam levels break records

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·      Dam levels increased by 56.9 percent

·      Highest increase since 1974

·      Government expects economic revival on the back of consequent good harvests

Harare – The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) has reported that national dam levels have increased by an average of 56.9 percent following the above normal rainfall that has been received in the country thus far.

This gain in dam levels is said to be the highest since 1974.

Resultantly the national dam levels had risen to 96 percent.

As of March 1, 2021, Gwayi Catchment had an average of 102,7 percent, Manyame 81,1 percent, Mazowe 80,4 percent, Mzingwane 89,5 percent, Runde 105,9 percent, Sanyati 105,8 percent and Save 78,7 percent.

These levels follow lamentations by farmers and companies in the agricultural sector on how water shortages had had a negative effect on operations and volumes.

For instance, listed tobacco auctioneer, printer and packager, TSL limited which also has banana, wheat, and maize farming operations reported in their FY20 financials that water shortages dragged their productivity.

“The lower than expected rainfall resulted in rationing of water and consequently the yields on the banana plantation were reduced and the winter wheat programme scaled back,” said the company

Fast forward however, the rainfall has seen other companies like Hippo Valley Estates Limited posting a bullish outlook, saying that with the rain received so far their sugarcane farming operations were covered for the next three seasons.

Lake Mutirikwi which the company relies on for its irrigation activities is said to be at over 92 percent of its capacity.

Meanwhile, the Government is expecting a good agricultural output in 2021 on the back of a good rainy season.

Good rains are one of the main drivers towards Government’s target of a 7.4 percent economic growth and an annual inflation of below 10 percent.

This comes after agricultural exports decline by over 54 percent in 2020 to US$158.5 million from US$344.8 million prior year due to subdued rainfall.

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