It appears that there may be some confusion over which dam is which.
The Mulunguzi dam, as you can see, is pretty large. There is also nothing wrong with it. Chagwa dam is further up and very small.
Chagwa dam is mainly made of mud and has been in existence for many, many years. The surrounding area has been logged however and this amongst other things, has led the soils to be degraded and erosion to occur. With the recent heavy rains, the dam has suffered further degradation and the road running along side is now impassable in places.
The relevant people have been contacted and action is being taken to reduce the volume of water in the dam to enable the engineers to carry out repairs. Those living in Zomba may have noticed that the Mulunguzi river was slightly more swollen than expected as the water is being let out slowly out of Chagwa.
It is highly unlikely that Zomba and its residents are in any imminent danger of flooding.
Sadly, because the difference between the dams has not been mad...
We were warned that there was big weather coming - that is not entirely unusual in Zomba - after all, Zomba is infamous for it's wet weather and chiperoni, the mist that clings to the mountain, - or Pepperoni has a friend of ours calls it. It is not unusual for it to rain - it is the rainy season after all! But when it rains, and rains, and rains, and then rains some more, it is less normal. Cyclone Idai was at work in the south of Malawi with the Shire valley and the areas round Thyolo and Mulanje being the worse hit.
At Zomba Forest Lodge, we got 340+mm in just over 3 days which sounds like a lot. Blantyre got over 500mm and Thyolo got 700mm!! I am not sure how much the Shire Valley received but it was enough to wash away roads, parts of bridges and flood vast swathes of land. More importantly Idai casued untold devastation with hundreds of thousands of homes that have either totally or partially collapsed, latrines that have caved in and thousands of people with no access t...