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$294 million secured for Kariba dam rehabilitation

by Staff reporter
14 Feb 2017 at 18:48hrs | Views

The Kariba Dam rehabilitation project is set to get on a roll following the signing of the US$294 million contract agreement between Zimbabwe, Zambia and development partners.

The signing of the agreement sets the tone for mega capital works on the dam wall's plunge pool and spillway gates as a mitigation measure to avert the collapse of the dam wall.

The measures follow assessments done by an international engineering consultant, whose findings pointed to an eroding dam wall foundation at the point of the spillway plunge, east of the giant structure in the Zambezi river.

The reshaping of the plunge pool and refurbishment of the six spillway gates will allow the Zambezi River Water Authority, who manage the facility, to open all the six flood gates when necessity demands so.

This will ensure the dam operates safely guaranteeing the safety of millions of people who live downstream the water body.

Zambian finance minister Felix Mutati and his Zimbabwean counterpart Patrick Chinamasa described the project as a landmark development central to the security of power supply , which is a critical factor driving the industrialisation agenda and the general socio-economic development.

Head of European delegation to Zambia Ambassador Alessandro Mariani views the project as a symbol of solid and dynamic partnership between Zimbabwe and Zambia, while for the World Bank, the safety of the dam wall is not only central to energy security, but a guarantee for sustainable regional economic development.

An additional emergency spillway gate will also be created in case the current six crush or jam.

The project is to be implemented by a French engineering firm, Razel-Bec, while funding partners are the European Union, African Development Bank, the World Bank and Swedish government, with the Zambezi River Water Authority chipping in US$19.2 million of the total project cost expected to last three years.

If no mitigation measures are taken to rehabilitate and reshape the plunge pool, the dam wall run the risk of collapsing, a situation that will have disastrous flooding consequences on the environment and on three million people mainly in Mozambique, Malawi and even Tanzania .

Source - zbc