Home » Business » AFDB Approves U.S $75 Million Loan for Kariba Dam Project

The African Development Bank Group has approved the release of a $75 million loan to Zimbabwe and Zambia that will assist in the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project.

In a statement, AfDB said its board of directors passed the resolution in Cote d’Ivoire on Monday and it would add on to other funds coming from several other sources to meet the required $294,2 million for the completion of the project.

Zambia will be given $39 million while Zimbabwe will get $36 million.

“The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group, during its ordinary sitting on Monday, December 15, 2014 in Abidjan, approved a proposed AfDB loan of $39 million to the Republic of Zambia and a $36 million grant to the Republic of Zimbabwe for the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project.

“The overall project cost is estimated at $294,2 million and the African Development Bank’s financing of $75 million will be complemented by contributions from the World Bank ($75 million), the European Union ($100 million), Sweden ($25 million) and the Governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia ($19,2 million),” reads the statement.

The project will be executed by the Zambezi River Authority on behalf of the two Governments and its implementation is expected to start early in 2015 and it will take about ten years to complete.

The project involves the rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam infrastructure by reshaping the plunge pool and rehabilitating the spillway.

The plunge pool will be reshaped in order to dissipate energy from the spilled water thereby reducing the energy on impact and hence bedrock erosion which could undermine the dam foundations, leading to dam failure.

AfDB said the project was meant to save lives and to prevent possible loss of valuable assets.

“The project will rehabilitate the spillway gates to avoid possible jamming in the open or closed positions both of which would result in dam failure and catastrophic regional loss of lives, livelihoods and billions (dollars) worth of assets and power, making the project a regional public good.”

AfDB said it was part of the donor group with the intention to ensure adequate financing of the project as well as helping in the design of additional technical and social investigations to assure the technical, social integrity and economic soundness of the rehabilitation approach.

The bank said it seeks to assist countries in need as well as promoting regional integration through such donations.

“Specifically it (bank) has been able to leverage internal resources under the Transition Support Facility to fund Zimbabwe’s contribution to the project costs when no other financier was in a position to assist, demonstrating g commitment to being a development partner to countries in situations of fragility and transition, contribute to mitigation of the risk to fragility, ensuring human safety to both Zambia and Zimbabwe and the region as well as support the regional integration agenda.

“The Bank is also contributing to the creation of work synergy between the Southern African Power Pool and the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) to enhance regional integration,” reads the statement.

The project will include a capacity-building component which includes training for technical staff of the ZRA and skills transfer through the supervision engineer and panel of experts.

The programme will strengthen ZRA’s Emergency Preparedness Plan and also includes a programme for improved community emergency preparedness.

Source : The Herald

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