Kariba Dam rehab starts February 2017

NANCY MWAPE, Livingstone
THE rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam estimated to cost over US$ 290 million will start early next year, Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has said.
The rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam is being funded by the European Union, World Bank, African Development Bank, Sweden, Zambia and the Zimbabwean governments.
In an interview, ZRA chief executive officer Munyaradzi Munodawafa said rehabilitation of the plunge pool will start in February next year while works on the six sluice gates will start in July next year.
“Tenders for the contractors to carry out works on the plunge pool will close on October 23, 2016 and for the sluice gates tenders will be opened in November while the bidder is expected to be appointed by June next year,” he said.
Mr Munodawafa projected the rehabilitation works for the plunge pool to take three years, and eight years for the spillway gates.
The six sluice gates that make up the spillway have been distorted over the years due to an advanced alkali-silica reaction in the concrete.
“Without functional sluices, the reservoir level cannot effectively be maintained to take into account the flood regime of the Zambezi River,” he said.
Meanwhile, ZRA has identified 500 hectares for construction of a settlement camp and township for the Batoka hydro power project on the Zambian side.
Addressing journalists in Livingstone, ZRA Batoka gorge hydroelectric scheme project manager Ezekiel Kasaro said part of the land will be used for office structures for workers engaged to construct the dam and immigration officials.
“We have identified 250 to 500 hectares which is being cleared for the camp settlement and township,” he said.
Mr Kasaro said an airstrip has been developed to ensure the Batoka project is accessible throughout the year while works on the access road is almost complete.
The construction of the Batoka dam and the two power projects is expected to be completed by 2024, but first generation of power is earmarked for 2019.

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