On Thursday 14 February, European Union Ambassador to Zambia and COMESA, Alessandro Mariani, visited the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project (KDRP) to see firsthand the progress made on the plunge pool rehabilitation, which is funded by the European Union. The KDRP forms part of the wider Zambia - EU partnership in the energy sector which aims to improve access to clean, reliable and affordable energy.
Speaking to journalists on the site, Mr Mariani described the project as “a jewel that has the potential to help the region”.
The rehabilitation project entails reshaping the plunge pool and rehabilitating the spillway gates. “It will ensure the longevity of the Kariba Dam for many years to come and enhance power generation, stimulating economic development and improving the lives of citizens in both Zambia and Zimbabwe,” commented Ambassador Mariani.
Work on the access road down to the plunge pool site is almost complete and the plunge pool’s north bank slope is being rehabilitated to protect it against geological erosion. The foundations for the lift platform where the coffer dam piers will be constructed are being excavated by blasting at the moment. Access to the site and movement across the dam wall is being carefully controlled as a result.
In addition to the €64m grant provided by the EU for the rehabilitation of the plunge pool at Kariba, the EU also provides technical assistance to the Zambezi River Authority to support the project’s implementation.
Ambassador Mariani was accompanied to site by Mr Temwani Chihana, Co-ordinator in the National Authorising Office of the Ministry of Finance responsible for EU projects in Zambia. The site tour was led by ZRA engineers; Stucky Limited, the consulting engineers on the project and the plunge pool contractor, Razel-BEC.