One spillgate opened at Lake Kariba

The authority said water levels had been rising in the Lake since February and this has forced the authority which is managed by the countries which controls the flow of water along the Zambezi river.

The authority warned people who live along the Zambezi river banks that they must take precaution to avoid loss of life or property.

“Flows in the Zambezi River have continued to be high since the third week of February 2011 to date. Consequentially, persistently high inflows into the lake have taken place leading to a rapid rise in the lake levels and storage. The levels are such that should control measures not to be taken now, the allowable operating Lake levels will be breached hence affecting dam safety,” the Zambezi River Authority said.

“The amount of water being used for power generation at Kariba has also been reduced due to on-going maintenance works at both power stations resulting in rapid rise in Lake levels .One gate full opened will discharge 1,500 cubic metres per second.”

Lake Kariba was built in the 1950’s by the Southern Rhodesia and Northern Rhodesia for hydro-power generation. From 1960 to 1961, ‘Operation Noah’ captured and removed around 6,000 large animals and numerous small ones threatened by the lake’s rising waters.

Zimbabwe at the moment has been facing massive power cuts due to repairs being done at Kariba power station. The government has been failing to expand power generation at Kariba resulting in the country importing electricity from neighbouring countries.