The excavation of the Kariba Dam plunge pool, under the Plunge Pool reshaping sub-project of the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project, has been successfully completed.
This has been announced by the Zambezi River Authority (ZERA).
Excavating the downstream end of the plunge pool will increase its size, reducing the pressure the water spilling into the plunge pool exerts on the base of the pool, thus slowing down the erosion of the natural rock floor.
Reducing the slope of the downstream end of the plunge pool will decrease the amount of swirling, ensuring a smooth flow of water out of the pool and into the river downstream.
On top of that, reinforcing the wall of the plunge pool will strengthen and stabilise it.
There have been fear the dam wall might collapse, resulting in a devastating catastrophe for downstream communities and the economies of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.
Kariba – the world’s largest man-made reservoir of water by volume – is a major source of hydro-electricity for Zimbabwe and Zambia.
It also provides fishing and tourism activities. It was officially opened on 17 May 1960 by British Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
The dam stands 128 metres (420 ft) tall and 579 metres (1900 ft) long.
It extends for 280 kilometres (170 mi) and holds 185 cubic kilometres (150 000 000 acre⋅ft) of water.
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