Maputo — Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the company that operates the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi River, on Friday warned that it will have to increase discharges from the dam as from next Wednesday.
Currently Cahora Bassa is discharging 1,800 cubic metres of water a second. It has maintained this level of discharge for over a month, although much more water has entered the dam reservoir from upstream. As a result the Cahora Bassa lake is now 70 per cent full.
HCB warns that the Kariba dam, on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border, plans to increase its discharges as from 17 March. To ensure “the hydraulic and operational safety of the dam”, HCB is obliged to follow suit. As from 20 March, HCB will gradually increase the discharges from Cahora Bassa to 2,800 cubic metres a second.
HCB adds that this should not increase risks of flooding downstream, particularly since the levels of rainfall have decreased throughout the Zambezi basin.
Nonetheless, HCB urges members of the public and economic agents operating near the banks of the Zambezi to remove any property that is very near the river, “in order to avoid any possible losses that may occur due to the slight rise in the flow of the river that is forecast”.