Story by Tambaoga Gora
THE US$294 million Kariba Dam rehabilitation project is nearing completion, with commissioning expected next year.
The project involves reshaping the plunge pool at the foot of the six decades-old dam and refurbishment of the spillway.
A visit to the dam this Wednesday witnessed ongoing civil works at the giant dam wall built over 60 years ago.
Zambezi River Authority chief executive officer, Engineer Munyaradzi Munodawafa said the project was still within its timeframes and budget.
Engineer Munodawafa said, ‘‘Completion of the plunge pool is 2024. In terms of percentage, we are now going to 78 per cent, almost 80 actually. The total budget has not changed.’’
The Kariba Dam had a projected lifespan of 140 years, but unforeseen structural weaknesses, including a weak rock formation at its base were detected.
The rock was being eroded every time spillway gates were opened, inching closer to the dam structure and would eventually lead to the collapse of the dam wall with serious challenges for the region.
The rehabilitation works are envisaged to double the lifespan of the dam.