The government, through the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate has warned of potential flooding especially in low-lying areas of the country in the coming rainy season. During the 2016/17 rainy season, some people had to be rescued by helicopters after their villages were completely flooded.
In a ministerial statement in Parliament Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said
Firstly, allow me to take this opportunity to share with you the hydrological forecast for the 2017/18 rainfall season.
Our forecast is that we are expecting mostly normal to above normal rains culminating in high river flows and high in-flows into our dams, as well as high recharge to groundwater aquifers. The country is expected to generate between 18 to 24 billion cubic metres of water, yet our nation’s dam storage capacity is standing at 14 billion cubic metres against a situation where most of the dams are at nearly 70 percent full at a time when they should be at 50 percent full, as we approach the new season.
This implies that due to the excessive rains experienced during the 2016 /17 rainy season, we are standing at above normal water storage levels and most of the 2017 /18 run-off water will end up flowing to the oceans. The chances of flooding like we encountered in the 2016 /17 season are very high and we need to strengthen our early warning systems in areas like Tsholotsho, Malipati, Gokwe, Muzarabani, Middle Sabi and Chikwalakwala,