CHIMWEMWE MWALE and JACK ZIMBA, Livingstone
WORKS on the plunge pool, which is part of the US$294 million Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project (KDRP), have commenced, says Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) chief executive officer Munyaradzi Munodawafa.
The KDRP, which is expected to be completed in 2025, according to the programme schedule, will contribute to improved performance and longevity of the age-old dam.
Construction of the plunge pool is being funded through a grant from the European Union to a tune of US$100 million.
Mr Munodawafa said the contractor has been mobilised and has been on site since May this year, and is about to conclude the construction of site offices.
He said in an interview with journalists here that the major works for the project is getting access to the plunge pool.
“We need a robust and compact road to the pool without affecting the surroundings and the sluice way for the power station.”
“We expect that before the end of the first quarter , the access road will be done. In parallel, they are already preparing the pillars and supports and all the materials required for the cofferdam,” Mr Munodawafa said.
The cofferdam is the hedge that will hold back the wall to allow works on the plunge pool.
Mr Munodawafa said preparations to build the cofferdam are under way.
He said it will take three years to complete the plunge pool if work is done continuously.
“If we have more water, where we will need to spill, there is a provision to stop the works and spill, and after that, the contractor goes back to work.”
“Our current analysis does not look like we will be spilling this year, so there won’t be any disruption, but given these climate variabilities…we will wait and see what happens,” Mr Munodawafa said.