Zambia, Zimbabwe pick French firm to shore up Kariba Dam's wall

Zambia, Zimbabwe pick French firm to shore up Kariba Dam’s wall

Source: Zambia, Zimbabwe pick French firm to shore up Kariba Dam’s wall | Reuters Feb 13, 2017

Zambia and Zimbabwe will give French engineering firm Razel-Bec the task of making safe the Kariba Dam, whose wall is swelling, raising the risk of cracks in the structure designed to hold back up to 180 billion cubic meters of water.

A collapse of the dam could pose a risk to 3.5 million people in Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as Malawi and Mozambique further downstream, according to a 2015 report by global risk managers AON.

“It is a real risk that the dam could fall without that effort being put in place,” Dam Maintenance Engineer Farai Furasa told Reuters, referring to the planned renovation.

“Some forces are pushing toward the dam wall and digging into it and the water could slip underneath the dam and cause it to collapse.”

The Zambezi River Authority, which manages the dam on behalf of the two countries, plans to reshape the plunge pool at the dam’s base and repair the spill-way, which controls the release of water, within five years.

The dam was built in the 1950s.

Kozanai Gurukumba, its safety manager, told journalists on Monday the expansion should be completed by the end of 2020, while work on the spill-way to contain the swelling in the dam wall is expected to be done by 2022.

“It has taken a while in terms of procurement process but the contract is now official,” he said. “We expect the contractor Razel-Bec of France to take possession of the site by mid next month,” Gurukumba said.

He said the $294 million cost of the work would be funded through a combination of grants and loans.

The hydroelectric dam has installed capacity of 1,626 megawatts of electricity shared between Zambia and Zimbabwe, but severe drought in the region has reduced power generation, hurting the economies of both countries.

(Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

 

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 7
  • comment-avatar
    Dr R Mushaike 8 months

    Why give this to a French engineers? Are you telling me that over three decades post independence we don’t have our own competent engineers?

    • comment-avatar
      chief 8 months

      even in England they hire foreign companies to do certain jobs
      its not about the lack/shortage of competent engineers. Grow up

    • comment-avatar
      Zambezi 8 months

      Probably are, but they have all left and are working for the foreign firms that have been awarded this tender!!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    andy 8 months

    I suppose it’s all the Rhodesians fault for not building it stronger.

    • comment-avatar
      SA1362 8 months

      The Rhodesians didn’t build it mate. The Italians did.

  • comment-avatar
    Nokuda 8 months

    Thanks to Zambia, they didn’t go with the Chinese.

  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 8 months

    What are the joint CORRUPTION levies/tariffs like……….. given this French option?