Gwenhoro Dam

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Gwenhoro Dam is a dam constructed on the Runde river and located in Shurugwi, 37 km south of Gweru. It is built on Ian Smith's Gwenhoro farm. The Dam supplies water to Gweru and Shurugwi.

In November of 2018 government allocated Gweru City Council $4 million to go towards the rehabilitation of water services that are bedevilling the city. The Mayor of Gweru said that the money would be used to purchase new water pumps to improve water pumping capacity to meet the ever-increasing demand for potable water as well as rehabilitation of Gwenhoro water pump station for smooth flow of water.[1]


The Dam was built in 1958 with an earth and rock fill wall, 1380m long, 30m high, and a surface area of 467 hectrares. [2] The dam is generally full from January to June. The dam has a capacity of 32 million m³ In 2019, Gweru required 60 ML per day. Water is pumped to the treatment works, which also draw water form the Amapongokwe Dam, on the same catchment. [3] Gweru's first water supply, still in use, was from the Whitewaters Dam.


In December 2018, ageing pumps at the dam were reported to be causing water shortages in Gweru.[4]

Gweru’s main water supply, Gwenhoro Dam, was at 18 percent capacity in July 2019, and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) was on the verge of decommissioning it. The situation could be saved if the local authority could secure over $5 million to purchase new water pumps that could be installed at Amapongobge Dam. The city has since introduced water rationing after the pumping capacity dropped to 20 megalitres a day against the city’s demand of 60 megalitres. Ward 17 councillor Farai Muza said the water levels at Gwenhoro Dam were now critical adding that Zinwa had indicated that it will soon decommission the city’s major source of water.

Mayor Josiah Makombe said Amapongobge required five pumps for it to meet the city’s daily demand, and only one pump was functional’ Gweru Town Clerk Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza said financial constrains were hampering council’s efforts to address the persisting water challenges. “We only received $400 000 from Government for the procurement of those pumps and it is not enough. Probably now each costs $5 million. “We engaged partners and financiers such as IDBZ, but they have told us that they were incapacitated to give us such huge sums of money, but said they could give us money to sink commercial boreholes,”. [5]

In August 2019, it was announced that Gweru had secured a US$440 000 loan from government to urgently buy four new water pumps for installation at an alternative dam. The local authority has been seeking funds for new pumps to be installed at Amapongogwe Dam which is 70% full, where it intends to extract water as the city’s main water supply dam. Gwenhoro Dam, was left with only six weeks’ supply. Last week, the city received a donation of a water pump from Unki Mines.

At a press conference mayor Josiah Makombe said he had successfully convinced government that the city was headed for disaster, hence release of the funding. “I went to the Midlands Provincial Affairs minister (Senator Larry Mavhima) and told him that I was about to declare a state of emergency in Gweru due to the water crisis. We then agreed to approach Local Government minister (July Moyo) over the issue. That is when we hatched the deal to get the fund,” he said. Makombe said the US$440 000 loan was from the disaster fund.

“Initially, we had been given an invoice of US$ 6 million by a service provider for water pumps. However, we engaged a consultant from South Africa who hunted for cheaper deals and so, that is why we got this offer.” [6]


  1. Govt Avails $5,8 Million To Gweru City For Rehabilitation Of Water Infrastructure ⋆ Pindula News, Pindula News, retrieved: 6 Dec 2018
  2. [Mary Akers (ed.), Encyclopaedia Rhodesia] (The College Press, Salisbury, 1973) Retrieved 8 August 2019"
  3. [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe, (Quest Publishing, Harare, 1987), Retrieved: 25 July 2019
  4. Ageing Water Pumps At Gwenhoro Dam To Blame For Gweru Water Woes - Town Clerk ⋆ Pindula News, Pindula News, retrieved: 6 Dec 2018
  5. Gwenhoro Dam running dry: Zinwa, The Herald, Published: 8 July 2019, Retrieved: 26 March 2020
  6. Gweru gets US$440k to end water crisis, Newsday, Published: 2 August 2019, Retrieved: 26 March 2020

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