WB, Sweden fund Kariba rehab

NANCY MWAPE, Livingstone
THE World Bank (WB) has approved a US$75 million credit under the International Development Association (IDA) and US$25 million grant from the government of Sweden for the Kariba Dam rehabilitation project.
Last week, the World Bank board of executive directors approved funding for the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project, which will involve reshaping the plunge pool, refurbishing spillway as well as improving the dam operations in order to bring it up to international safety standards.
According to a statement released by Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) and issued by the World Bank, the project with total financing of US$300 million, is being co-financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and European Union (EU) aimed at helping the ZRa, which is responsible for the management of the Kariba Dam.
World Bank vice-president for Africa Makhtar Diop said the rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam is an important component of the World Bank’s larger programme for boosting the energy security of southern Africa.
“There is much more to be done in reaching that goal, but today marks an important milestone in securing the Kariba Dam for the coming decades,” he said.
And Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda and his Zimbabwean counterpart Patrick Chinamasa said the two governments remain committed to continuing partnership in ensuring that the benefits of regional co-operation flow directly to the people.
“We welcome the World Bank and Government of Sweden’s financing for the urgently needed rehabilitation works at Kariba,” said the two Ministers.
And World Bank country director for Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi Kundhavi Kadiresan said the project is testimony to the power of perseverance and co-operation between Governments and development partners.
Dr Kadiresan said the World remains committed to ensuring that the spirit of co-operation remains the hallmark during project implementation.
The Kariba Dam was built in 1959 and it provides more than 50 percent of Zambia and Zimbabwe’s electricity, benefiting an estimated 4.5 million people.

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