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Multinational - Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project - ESIA Summary - 11 2015


The Kariba Dam is a double curvature concrete arch dam located in the Kariba Gorge of the Zambezi River Basin between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The arch dam was constructed between 1956 and 1959 and supplies water to two underground hydropower plants located on the north bank in Zambia and on the south bank in Zimbabwe. Water is released from the reservoir through six sluice gates. In the first 20 years after the dam was constructed there were sustained heavy spillage episodes resulting in erosion of the bedrock to 80 m below the normal water level. This has resulted in instability of the plunge pool making the dam wall unstable and unsafe. Moreover, the six sluice gates that make up the spillway have been distorted over the years due to an advanced alkali-silica reaction in the concrete. Without functional sluices, the reservoir level cannot effectively be maintained to take into account the flood regime of the Zambezi River.

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