Covid-19 stalls Kariba rehab


Helen Kadirire

THE Zambezi River Authority has said the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has affected the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project (KDRP) as some workers are yet to return to work following international lockdowns.

ZRA chief executive Munyaradzi Munodawafa in a statement recently said the authority had been observing strict measures to mitigate coronavirus-associated risks as it has workers from all over the world.

Munodawafa’s concerns come as the project was now at the stage of constructing the coffer dam which would allow work to progress without interference from water.

“There is substantial human traffic around the KDRP site by local and international workers, contractors and service providers. Some of the expatriate staff who had travelled to their home countries on leave were affected by the international travel ban.

“This has temporarily left some gaps in the smooth schedule of the operations, thus requiring very close supervision of potentially affected works,” he said.

Munodawafa said while there have been no reported cases in the Kariba and Siavonga areas, the authority would adhere to strict statutory and corporate procedures on testing, isolating and working from home on a rotational basis.

The project commenced in 2017 with the plunge pool reshaping and according to the current project programme, it will be completed in 2025.

Through a combination of grants and loans, the $294 million project is being funded by the European Union, World Bank, African Development Bank, the government of Sweden and the Zambezi River Authority on behalf of the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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