KARIBA – The European Union (EU) has announced a significant financial contribution of €113 million (approximately US$120 million) to support the rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam in Zimbabwe.
This project is part of the EU’s Global Gateway initiative, aimed at enhancing the country’s electricity generation capacity.
The announcement was made during a site visit by EU ambassadors to Zimbabwe and Zambia, Jobst von Kirtman and Karolina Stasiak, respectively, along with high-level officials including Zimbabwean Energy Minister Edgar Moyo and his Zambian counterpart Peter Chibwe Kapala.
The Kariba Dam is jointly owned by Zimbabwe and Zambia, serving as a key facility for electricity generation under the management of the Zambezi River Authority.
Jobst von Kirtman, the EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, emphasized the significance of rehabilitating the Kariba Dam, as it plays a crucial role in the EU’s initiative to address global challenges sustainably.
“The rehabilitation of this dam can potentially contribute to over 50% of the overall electricity production in Zimbabwe.
“The partnership between the EU, the Zambezi River Authority, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the Swedish International Development and Cooperation, as well as Zambia and Zimbabwe, is an investment not in concrete and steel, but in the future of Zimbabwe and Zambia,” Kirtman said.
Zimbabwe currently operates a 1,050-megawatt hydroelectric power facility on Lake Kariba, making it a vital source of electricity for the nation.
In recent years, the two countries faced a crisis due to a significant drop in water levels on Lake Kariba, leading to severe power shortages on both sides of the Zambezi River.
The EU’s commitment to rehabilitating the Kariba Dam is seen as essential, as a potential collapse of the dam could have catastrophic consequences, affecting millions of people and causing substantial economic damage.
The EU’s financial support reflects the organization’s commitment to addressing vital challenges and helping enhance Zimbabwe’s energy infrastructure, ultimately boosting the country’s electricity generation capabilities.
Rehabilitation work on the Kariba Dam is anticipated to have a substantial impact on the stability and sustainability of electricity production in the region.