Progress on the Kariba Dam rehabilitation project (KDRP) is steady with the plunge pool currently in the implementation phase and the spillway refurbishment works under procurement, the Zambezi River Authority has announced.

The Authority, which operates, maintains and manages the Kariba Dam on behalf of the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe, hosted the 6th technical Joint Mission of multiple stakeholders directly involved in the implementation of the $294 million project (KDRP) in early November at Siavonga, Zambia. The joint mission monitors the implementation of the KDRP and provides professional scrutiny and technical guidance from some of the world’s top experts to ensure the scheme complies with international dam safety standards.

 The Joint Mission was attended by members of the panel of experts; the project financiers;  the National Authorising Office of the European Development Fund, the contracting party for the plunge pool works; Stucky Ltd, the consulting engineers providing technical services and supervising the KDRP works; Tractebel, consulting engineers and long-term advisors to the ZRA; Razel-BEC, the contractors carrying out the plunge pool works, and the Zambian and Zimbabwean power utilities.

The KDRP, which is funded jointly by the European Union, World Bank, African Development Bank, the Swedish government and the Zambezi River Authority on behalf of the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe, comprises two components:  the plunge pool reshaping and the refurbishment of the spillway.

 The plunge pool reshaping is in the implementation phase following the appointment of the contractor, Razel-BEC, earlier this year. Site establishment – the construction of the site offices, accommodation, workshops – is well underway and the construction of the access road to the plunge pool is imminent following agreement on the proposed route of the road.

The spillway refurbishment works is in the procurement phase with the tender launch date expected to be in December 2017, allowing for the works contract to be awarded by mid-2018, according to the current project schedule.

For over 50 years the Kariba Dam has been central to regional energy security and economic development.

The Kariba Dam is one of Africa’s most iconic dams and in 2018 the Zambezi River Authority is celebrating the dam’s 60th anniversary.