By Cuthbert Mashoko
A smoke that thunders atmosphere or Mosia Tunya’s spectacular falls reminiscent of the majestic global tourists attraction center, the Victoria Falls is resembled perfectly in Masvingo province’s Manyuchi Dam wall.
The gigantic man-made creation has a replica thunderous and similar light mist smoke when the flood gates of the water body are opened.
There is no need to travel all the way to Vic Falls as the same attraction can be found locally.
Located in the south western part of the vast dry district of Mwenezi, the enormous water reservoir was built in 1989 and it is the third largest dam in Masvingo Province after Tokwe-Mukosi and Mutirikwi.
Manyuchi dam’s tributaries are Mwenezi, Munti and Mutivi rivers. Much of the water of the dam is used for irrigation purposes for Tongaat Hulets and Mwenezana sugar cane plantations.
The Gonarenzou National Park, the Sabot crocodile farm and Rutenga Growth Point are some of the beneficiaries of the water from the vast water body.
Irrigation schemes in Mwenezi such as Murove, Dinhe and Chizumba have thrived to ensure food security in the district with the aid of the perennial water supply from Manyuchi Dam, making it the mainstay of development of the province’s low-veld region.
The main eye catching scenes at the dam include the mist view from the flood gates. The mist atmosphere gives viewers a good time and a cool breeze which is very unusual in a district that is largely associated with high temperatures.
Going up the rum from the bottom part of the dam wall as one climbs to the top of the dam wall to have a view of the dam is quite an interesting nail biting experience to those not afraid of heights.
The other side of the dam has unique waterfalls which brings into mind the great Victoria Falls. The water falls in to a pool which is as deep as the dam wall height.
The pool which is on a granite dwala has the potential of hosting a diving tournament or a classical tiger fishing competition, hence providing great sporting entertainment.
Justice won’t have been served if one leaves the dam without canoeing on the enormous waters of Manyuchi in a boat.
This takes one to the Islands that are an amazing wonder at the dam .The Islands give one an opportunity to view the waters of Manyuchi from rather a central position.
An experiences which definitely reminds the old generation of Safirio Madzikatire’s (Mukadota) famous hit song “KwaHunyani”.
The dam has the potential of being a first class resort center if due attention and publicity is given to the place. At the moment the place holds its natural potential which maybe, in one of the good days be exploited.
Encroaching bushes have already started growing on the basins of the dam. A development which experts say has a negative Impact on the dam as roots of trees weaken the compacted gravel around the dam edges.
A concerned villager Mr Ezekiel Chomupapa, just like many other locals bemoaned lack of robust investment at the dam.
The dam has a capacity of fishery projects which can be a source of income to the surrounding communities especially the largely unemployed youth.
The absence of security at the dam has led to uncontrolled fishing and poaching.
A bee keeping project at the bushes adjacent to the dam died in its infancy stage. The islands at Manyuchi are yet to be taken advantage of as no structure had been constructed on them by now.
Regardless of the shortfalls at Manyuchi Dam, The place is worthy to pay a visit. Pay a visit and enjoy this unchronicled beauty of Mwenezi.
Cuthbert Mashoko is a Teacher and Development Practitioner based at Rutenga, he writes in his on capacity. He can be reached at curthmashoko@MCMadmin