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French firm tasked to repair Kariba wall
13/02/2017 00:00:00
by Staff reporter

ZAMBIA and Zimbabwe have identified Razel-Bec as the suitable firm to mend the Kariba Dam, Reuters reported Monday.

Razel is a French engineering company.

The dam was built to hold back up to 180 billion cubic meters of water, during the colonial era but of late its wall has been swelling, raising the risk of collapse.

A 2015 report by AON warned that 3.5 million people in Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as Malawi and Mozambique along the Zambezi River were at risk if the dam was to collapse.

The Reuters report quoted a Dam Maintenance engineer saying, "It is a real risk that the dam could fall without that effort being put in place".

"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," added Farai Furasa according to Reuters.

Kariba Dam is managed by the Zambezi River Authority on behalf of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

According to the authority, the “two countries, plan to reshape the plunge pool at the dam's base and repair the spill-way, which controls the release of water, within five years”.

Reuters said Kozanai Gurukumba, the authority’s 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.

Gurukumba reportedly said “the $294 million cost of the work would be funded through a combination of grants and loans”.


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