By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
REHABILITATION of the plunge pool at the Kariba dam, which was expected to be completed next year, has been shifted to 2022 due to the delayed construction of the coffer dam.
The European Union, through the European Development Fund (EDF) provided a grant to the Zambian Government worth €100 million towards the rehabilitation of the plunge pool.
Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) project manager, Kozanai Gurukumba, said recently during a media tour of the Kariba dam that the project was not within the construction timeline.
“We are quiet far, much not within the construction timeline, the project started between May and June 2017 and the primary part of it is the construction of the coffer dam, as long as it is not in place there is no way major works can commerce,” Mr Gurukumba said.
Mr Gurukumba, however, said the coffer dam construction was expected to be completed by March next year.
The biggest challenge, he explained, had to do with lying the foundation of the coffer dam.
He further explained that some of factors that had caused the delays had do with the way the contractor approached the works, which the authority was working try and resolve.
“What was actually given as tender drawings was later on realised, during excavations, that the levels we had anticipated from the coffer dam foundation itself, are much deeper than what were earlier perceived,” Mr Gurukumba said.
Mr Gurukumba also said the rehabilitation would restore the Kariba Dam to full operations and ensure its continued contribution to the energy security and economic growth in the Southern African region.
“The spillway rehabilitation will ensure the continued safe, controlled release of water from the reservoir when this is required,” he said.
The rehabilitation project consists of two components: the reshaping of the plunge pool downstream of the dam wall, which commenced in 2017 and the rehabilitation of the spillway.