A delegation financing the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project (KDRP) is impressed with the ongoing works at the site, describing it as a great example of international cooperation and multilateralism.
The delegation of financiers, comprising the European Union (EU), World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and Sweden, among others on Thursday undertook a site visit of the US$300 million project in Siavonga on Thursday.
The delegation was particularly impressed with works done on the Spillway works and development of the Plunge Pool.
Speaking after the delegation toured the project, EU delegation to Zambia and COMESA Ambassador Karolina Stasiak, said: “today we have seen one of the most impressive EU-funded engineering projects in Africa.
“This dam, its monitoring system or the cofferdam you see down there is European engineering at its best.”
Stasiak acknowledged that excavation works were progressing very well and were completed at more than 80 percent, which meant that a volume of rock that could fill 100 Olympic swimming pools had already been blasted and hauled to the dumpsite.
She was convinced that access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy services was a prerequisite and an enabler for Zambia’s and Zimbabwe’s economic and social development.
For this, she said, more investments in infrastructures and in the renewable energy sector were needed.
“The EU is stepping up its offer to its partners with major investments in infrastructure development around the world.
“Between 2021 and 2027, Team Europe, meaning the EU institutions and EU Member States and their financing institutions, will jointly mobilise up to EUR150 billion of investments to support large-scale projects in Africa through the new Global Gateway Investment Package, the “global arm of the European Green Deal,” she said.
EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Jobst Von Kirchmann, was also impressed with the works.
Kirchmann said: “When I went down to see the project with my colleagues, I was truly impressed. This is my first visit to this project, I have hardly seen a construction of such a project.
“It is impressive that the two countries can work together on such a huge project. It is truly impressive.”
World Bank Country Manager for Zimbabwe, Eneida Fernandes, who also spoke on behalf of the AfDB and the Swedish Embassy, noted the coordination and cooperation which had yielded positive progress resulting in over 80 percent progress on the Plung Pool.
Fernandes however raised concerns regarding efforts the risks of delays for the Spillway Rehabilitation.
“These delays require concerted efforts to accelerate works and ensure completion of the remaining rehabilitation,” she said.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean Energy and Power Development Minister, Edgar Moyo, said successful completion of the project would contribute to energy security security in the region.
Moyo said the project would restore the Kariba Dam to international acceptable operating standards.
The Zambian government was represented by Arnold Simwaba of the Ministry of Energy.
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