Kariba dam rehabilitation on course

News

The Zambezi River Authority says the rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam is on course.

Authority Contract Engineer with the ZRA Sudden Mukuwe said earlier challenges that delayed the project have been overcome, including construction of an access road to carry a 130-tonne crane into the Zambezi River.

“The access road delayed the project. The initial proposed route had decomposing rock so we had to change,” said Mukuwe.

The safety of the dam wall is key in ensuring continued production of energy.

Should the wall collapse, thousands of people downstream will be in danger of floods.

The joint mission on the Kariba Dam rehabilitation held a meeting in Siavonga to deliberate on the project and see how it can be speedily implemented.

The meeting was one of several periodic review processes to assess implementation of the rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam Wall Project.

The rehabilitation project is being funded by the European Union (EU), World Bank, African Development Bank (AFDB) and the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA).

A sum of US$294 million has been invested to ensure the safety of the dam wall which was reportedly in danger of collapsing.

A plunge pool reshaping and construction of a Coffer dam are the two main projects being undertaken.

Funding partners expressed concern over delays and the slow pace in the implementation of the project, highlighting that Kariba is of international interest given its strategic economic position in the region.

“Two years into implementation of the project, there are some worrying delays. We will see what can be done to speedily implement it,” said EU Team Leader Adam Grodzicki.

“The project brings opportunities for everyone to work together in this complex infrastructure,” said World Bank Team Leader William Rex.

“It was treated as an emergency project and we really don’t want the emergency to occur,” said AFDB’s Elizabeth Muguti.

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