Chris Gilmour has said that Kariba Dam, which supplies the bulk of Zimbabwe and Zambia’s electricity faces the danger of collapsing due to issues that have to do with its age and design flaws.
Gilmour writes that Kariba which has been in existence for more than 50 years is in danger of collapsing due to a design flaw that were done to accommodate water levels when unexpected flooding occured in the Zambezi Valley during 1957 and 1958 which led the designer, Coyne et Bellier of France, and constructors, Salini Impreglio, to deviate from the original plan for the dam as they decided to install six sluice gates rather than three, to accommodate the of water levels.
He writes that the scouring action of the spillways has, over time, resulted in a 90-metre deep “plunge pool” being formed in front of the dam wall and is now only about 30 metres away from the dam’s foundations and, if left unchecked, threatens to undermine those very foundations. Gilmour also notes that the concrete surrounding the floodgates has swelled over the years, inhibiting the ability of the dam to rid itself of excess water during times of flood.
More: Daily Maverick