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Kariba Dam rehab commences

KELLY NJOMBO, Siavonga
THE Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has started the rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam at a cost of over US$290 million for continued safe operations and electricity supply in the Southern African region.
The Zambian and Zimbabwean governments have mobilised financing from the African Development Bank, the European Union, the government of Sweden, and the World Bank to support the ZRA in implementation of the project.
ZRA chief executive officer Munyaradzi Munodawafa said US$100 million will be allocated to the reshaping of the plunge pool, and other funds will be channelled to the spillway and infrastructure to improve the dam’s stability and operations.
Mr Munodawafa said ZRA is taking advantage of the low water levels at the dam to speed up the rehabilitation works.
He said this during a familiarisation tour of Kariba North Bank power plant in Siavonga and Kafue Gorge Power Station by member of Parliament (MPs) from the Committee on Energy and Economic Affairs.
“Works have already started for the rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam, and the total amount required is US$293 million. The money has been secured and it is in two forms, grants and loans. The rehabilitation project is expected to take about 10 years.
“This is the conducive time to carry out the works, we might be crying over the low water levels, but it is a plus when it comes to the rehabilitation works on the dam,” he said.
During the tour, Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma said the upgrading of Kariba Dam is important in increasing the national power base and that Zesco Limited should play a vital role to closely monitor the project.
Mr Yaluma said Government is concerned about challenges of increased load shedding but is confident that once the upgrading of the dam is completed, the situation will slightly change.
He said such projects are a vital component to the economy and Government will ensure that they are successfully upgraded to help minimise power outages.


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