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ENVIRONMENT: Africa’s Kariba Dam in danger of collapse  infographic




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Africa’s Kariba Dam in danger of collapse

Graphic News

March 9, 2017 -- Work is underway to repair the Kariba Dam between Zambia and Zimbabwe, which is at risk of collapse due to eroding foundations.

NEWSAHEAD -- A collapse of the dam, which was built in the 1950s, would pose a major risk to 3.5 million people in the two countries, as well as others in Malawi and Mozambique further downstream, according to a 2015 report by global risk managers AON.

The Zambezi River Authority, which manages the dam on behalf of Zambia and Zimbabwe, 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.

French engineering firm Razel-Bec was awarded the contract to carry out the renovation work, which is expected to begin by the middle of March and be completed by 2022. The US $294 million cost will 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.

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