Weather

Zimbabwe's dams swell up as the rainy season ends

After downpour caused by Tropical Storm Dineo, Zimbabwe witnessing overflowing dams and rivers.

Depth gauge reading of 100 percent in the Umzingwane Dam, outside Bulawayo, Zimbabwe [AFP]

The dam at Umzingwane, southeast of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, is registering 100 percent full.

This is in part due to the remains of a tropical cyclone.

Tropical Storm Dineo may have lost its character after it made landfall in Mozambique on February 15, but it carried its rain well inland. It headed northwest towards the Kruger National Park. The rain topped up dams and rivers, but it did, of course, cause flooding.

According to a report by Civil Protection Zimbabwe, one of the areas worst affected by Dineo was Tsholotsho District in Matabeleland North, where the Gwayi River and its tributaries burst their banks, inundating homes, fields, schools, infrastructure, and sweeping away livestock.

Tsholotsho received 72mm of rain in a 24-hour period as ex-Dineo moved along the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa, while 72mm fell in Bulawayo and 100mm in Matopos.

Sixty percent of the crops planted in the flooded areas during the January planting window have been water-logged

The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Saviour Kasukuwere said most southern parts of Zimbabwe, namely Matabeleland South, Masvingo, Manicaland and some parts of midlands were still receiving rain in excess of 100mm a day.

At the full dam in Umzingwane, each further shower causes an overflow which inevitable causes flooding downstream. Luckily, most recent significant rains in Zimbabwe have been in the north, beyond Harare. Forecasts show significant showers dying out this coming week as the rains head north.

The wet season in this part of the world runs from October to March and the cyclone season is part of it, especially for Mozambique and Madagascar. There is a cyclone now developing and heading for Madagascar. It is not forecast to hit the African mainland.

Source: Al Jazeera