BY LILIAN HURUVA
ZIMBABWE’S biggest arch causeway, Birchenough Bridge, has received a Hydro Radar Station courtesy of Green Climate Fund (GCF). The project has been installed in collaboration with Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) with funding from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
This was revealed at Provincial Learning Day for Farmers Field School under GCF project on the 21st April 2023 at Mawunganidze Irrigation Scheme in Chipinge. At least 176 061 people in eleven wards of Chipinge and approximately 13 071 others from ward 13 in Buhera benefit from this Radar station.
“The importance of this hydro station is that it reduces risk of losing human lives and livestock, especially those that live along the stream since it is a flood area. The automatic hydrological station seeks to enhance the rest of the communities by providing early warning information.
“During Tropical Cyclone Freddy, the Radar helped us to communicate with Mozambique since we share the same border with them,” said Mr Mashakada, ZINWA Hydrologist.
“Hydro station also helps farmers, who are the primary beneficiaries of this project in planning stage since ZINWA is able to quantify the water flow in the river. They will be to tell how much can be used to irrigate.
“The Radar sends real-time data on the flows of the river to servers. Electronic magnetic energy which allows it to pick level of water and flow in terms of speed and there are no weather interferences that can disturb it to give continuous feedback of data,” added Mr Mashakada.
Mr Mashakada however stipulated that vandalism is one of their challenges as communities are not fully aware of the benefits the projects are to them. He urged those present to educate others in their communities about the importance of protecting the radar systems.
Mr Rungano from GCF indicated that at the moment the Radar has 4 river gagging stations and intent to increase them to 10, of which 5 of them should be installed this year. Chimanimani and Matebeleland South are going to receive one each.