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Funding secured for Kariba Dam rehabs

KABANDA CHULU, Kariba
REHABILITATION of the Kariba Dam starts next month following the sourcing of US$295 million needed for the project.
The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), which is jointly owned by Zambia and Zimbabwe, has sourced the money and says the works start next month and will be completed in December 2020.
ZRA senior manager for projects and dam safety Sithembinkosi Mhlanga said the rehabilitation works will involve two components.
He said this at a press briefing here yesterday ahead of today’s signing of the financial agreements between the two governments, financiers and main contractor Razelbec of France.
“The works will involve the reshaping of the plunge pool [where water falls after release from spill-way] and refurbishment of the flood-gates. We expect the contractor to move on site and start mobilising equipment so that by May, works can start.
“Funding has been sourced from the European Union, African Development Bank, Swedish Government and the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe,” he said.
The engagement of a contractor for the spillway gate projects is at pre-qualification stage and tenders will be done by October while the contractor is expected to start the works by January 2018.
Earlier, ZRA dam safety engineer Kozanai Gurukumba said continuous erosion of the river bed and the banks necessitated the need to rehabilitate the plunge pool facility.
“Also certain types of aggregates [stone and cement] used when building do react over time causing the structure to start swelling hence distorting the building.
“So we are refurbishing the spill-way gates to create spill beams that can be used as emergency in case the gates do not shut down,” he said.
Minister of Finance Felix Mutati, his Energy counterpart David Mabumba together with the ministers of Energy and Finance from Zimbabwe and financiers are today expected to sign the memorandum of understanding scheduled to take place on the Zimbabwean side of the Kariba Dam.

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