Walter Nyamukondiwa Kariba Bureau
The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) and other stakeholders are set to conduct a mock emergency drill to assess the level of disaster preparedness ahead of dewatering of the Kariba Dam plunge pool.
The mock drill will be conducted this Tuesday between 1000hrs and 1200hrs and will assess the state of disaster preparedness at the Dam site and downstream communities among others.
Zimbabwe and Zambia, which jointly manage and share the Zambezi River, Lake Kariba and the dam have embarked on the $294 million Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project (KDRP) to ensure the long term safety of the dam.
Pillars for the coffer dam have been successfully constructed and the mock drill is part of precautionary and mandatory measures ahead of dewatering of the plunge pool which is set to be reshaped to deflect water away from the foot of the dam structure.
A weak rock formation had seen water released from the floodgates threatening the foot of the Kariba dam.
In a notice to stakeholders, Kariba district development coordinator Mr Shepherd Marweyi said the drill would help monitor responses at every level.
“It is against this background that ZRA would like to conduct an emergency drill prior to dewatering of the plunge pool in order to comply with ZRA risk management systems, the financing agreement and international best practices,” said Mr Marweyi.
“One of the objectives of the drill is to test the overall state of disaster preparedness from the dam site, KDRP site, downstream communities and the respective agencies within the two contracting states of Zimbabwe and Zambia.”
The KDRP comprises two components including reshaping of the plunge pool and refurbishment of the spillway gates.