The Kariba Lake has started to increase in the past few days and was at 475.78m (2.00% usable storage) on Wednesday, 11 January 2022.
According to the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), a corporation jointly and equally owned by the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe, which manages the man-made lake, the increase is attributable to reduced generation and an increase in local rainfall activity on and around the lake. ZRA said in an update:
The Lake level has started increasing in the past few days due to reduced generation and partly an increase in Local rainfall activity on and around the lake, closing the period under review at 475.78m (2.00% usable storage) on 11th January 2023, compared to 478.33m (19.73% usable storage) recorded on the same date last year.
ZRA reiterated that Kariba Lake is designed to operate between levels 475.50m and 488.50m (with 0.70m freeboard) for hydropower generation.
On Sunday Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema toured the lake. Speaking after the tour, Hichilema said he will engage his Zimbabwean counterpart, President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the use and management of the Hydroelectricity power plant at Kariba Dam. He said:
My counterpart [Mnangagwa] on the other side may have a view slightly different from mine. That’s okay, that’s fine. But I believe he too will be concerned; I will be speaking to him tonight [Sunday] or tomorrow [Monday].
For the Zambezi River Authority, we need to engage now in a formal meeting between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the relevant stakeholders, we will ask our foreign ministers to call for a meeting so that we can have a family conversation away from the media.
[The meeting will be] mainly to work together, not to polarise each other. We want the best for Zimbabwe, and I believe Zimbabwe wants what’s best for Zambia.