18 January 2013

Mozambique: Cahora Bassa Floodgate to Open On Saturday

Maputo — Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the company which operates the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi, announced on Friday that it intends to open one of the dam’s eight enormous floodgates.

An HCB statement said that the floodgate will open gradually as from 06.00 on Saturday, adding a further 1,600 cubic metres of water a second to the flow of the Zambezi.

HCB says it is taking this measure because of the current rains in the Zambezi basin and particularly the flow of water into Cahora Bassa lake.

HCB forecasts that, as a result of the open floodgate, there will be “a slight rise” in the level of the Zambezi, and it urges people living near the banks of the river “to take the due measures of precaution”.

In fact, the Zambezi is already above flood alert level on its lower reaches, particularly in Caia and Marromeu districts in Sofala province, and the open floodgate might worsen the situation.

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