US$294m deal for Kariba dam wall project
HARARE – Multinational development cooperating partners and the governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia have signed a US$294 million grant and loan agreement for the Kariba dam wall rehabilitation project.
A $161 million of the finance facility will be in the form of a grant from the European Union. The EU provided US$100 million while the remainder of the grant is from the African Development Bank and the Swedish government.
The World Bank and the AfDB will provide a further $114 million in the form of concessionary loans to be serviced by the Zambezi River Authority, the project implementing agent.
EU ambassador to Zambia Mr Giles Hervio, AfDB country director Festus Magala, and Swedish ambassador to Zambia Ms Lena Nordstrom all concurred that the infrastructure is strategic in the socio-economic development of the sub region.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa says the rehabilitation of the Kariba dam wall guarantees continued power generation to the region and will improve the capacity of future economic growth.
The funds will meet the costs of repairs to the dam’s plunge pool and refurbishments of the six spillway gates over a 10-year period.
According to the Zambian Finance Minister Mr Alexander Chikwanda, should the dam wall be left to collapse, it would require US$5 billion to build a similar infrastructure.