Kariba water levels up

Walter Nyamukondiwa Chinhoyi Bureau
Water levels in Kariba Dam have significantly improved following rains that have pounded the catchment area in recent days, raising hope that levels will rise to allow for resumption of normal power generation.

The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) last year imposed a cap on daily water allocated to Zimbabwe and Zambia power authorities to stem the rate of water loss.

Online newsletter, Wild Zambezi, also reported a significant rise in water levels in Victoria Falls further up the Zambezi River.

Using a comparison of two aerial images taken on December 4, 2015 and another one taken on January 15, 2016, it managed to observe an improvement in the water levels.

Water is now flowing over a bigger part of the falls.

The development has also brought hope that increased water flow will result in improved water levels in Lake Kariba downstream.

Kariba District Administrator Mr Amigo Mhlanga said although figures are not available, there has been a notable improvement in the past week.

“There is a visible improvement through looking at physical features in the lake that were significantly exposed which are quickly being covered up,” said Mr Mhlanga.

He said if rains persist up to around February 20, the water levels in the lake will get back to normal.

Traditional leaders recently held rain-making rituals to appease the gods and ask for rain.

The ceremony follows a similar one conducted in Zambia.

Mr Mhlanga said water from Sanyati and Nyaodza rivers was now flowing into the lake.

“The flowing of Sanyati and Nyaodza rivers gives us hope that water levels will improve significantly,” he said.

The ZRA had not responded to questions sent to them.

Statistics from the ZRA website show that in the week ending January 18, water levels had dropped to 53 percent from 54 percent and the tide is expected to have been overturned with significant rains registered in subsequent weeks.

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