16 February 2016

Southern Africa: Kariba Water Levels to Rise

Siavonga — The Zambezi River Authority has said water levels at the Kariba Dam will soon improve because of increased inflows from Mwinilunga and the Barotse plains.

The Authority's chief executive director, Munyaradzi Munodawafa said water levels at the dam will improve in two months because of the increasing inflows.

"As a matter of fact, the water inflow from the Barotse plains has increased, making it possible to produce sufficient water to gain high levels at the power plant," he said.

Mr Munodawafa in an interview expressed confidence on the progress with the water inflows from upstream in Mwinilunga and the Baroste plains, which was expected to be absorbed in the Kariba Dam in two months.

He said the increased inflows would generate enough water to earn the expected high levels in the power plant.

In addition, Mr Munodawafa said, two upstream reservoirs, the Devil's Gorge and the Batoka Basin, would be constructed to stretch the water inflows to Kariba Dam for later use.

He said that as at present, power generation is at 500 megawatts, which was still okay for power production, although power was generated at 1,050 megawatts at full capacity when the water levels were normal.

At the moment, power generation was at 12 per cent as compared to 65 per cent of water current when water levels were high.

Mr Munodawafa said the Kariba Dam needed at least two seasons for it to attain its normal levels.

He said the insufficient rains had prevented the levels of water at the Kariba Dam from increasing, which in turn had led to low electricity power generation.

Meanwhile, Siavonga District Commissioner Lovemore Kanyama said it was unfortunate that some people were using social media to publish false information about the water levels at the dam.

He was reacting to information that was circulating on social media, which indicated that the dam had reached the normal height to end power cuts and that Government was merely being ineffective to allow continued load shedding.

"While people are saying this on social media, a view of dam at present clearly indicates the reality of the water levels at the dam.

"One can see some of the anti-vortex beams which are currently exposed due to low water levels in the lake," Mr Kanyama said.

He said it was important to relay correct information to the public and not communicate falsehoods.

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