The dam wall at the Kariba North Bank Power station
The dam wall at the Kariba North Bank Power station

Water levels in Kariba Dam have significantly improved for the first time in nine

months following rains that have pounded the catchment area in recent days.

This is according to data from the Zambezi River Authority that regulates the world’s biggest man-made reservoir.

The development has raised hope that levels will rise to allow for resumption of normal power generation.

The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) last year imposed a cap on daily water allocated to Zimbabwe and Zambia power authorities to stem the rate of water loss.

Levels increased by 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) during the week ended February 1, the Zambezi River Authority said in a statement posted to its website Wednesday.

Online newsletter, Wild Zambezi, also reported a significant rise in water levels in Victoria Falls further up the Zambezi River.

Using a comparison of two aerial images taken on December 4, 2015 and another one taken on January 15, 2016, it managed to observe an improvement in the water levels.

The Authority cut Zambia’s water allocation at the reservoir by half this year, which will allow it to generate an average 275 megawatts, from 700 megawatts in 2015.

The river continued to rise at the Chavuma measuring station, which is the furthest upstream from the dam, and was 43 percent higher on February 1 than a year earlier, according to the authority.

At Victoria Falls, flows increased more slowly and were 19 percent lower than the same time in 2015.

Water is now flowing over a bigger part of the falls.

That’s the first weekly gain since at least April.

The dam rose to 12 percent of capacity, after dipping to 11 percent on January 27, as inflows from the Zambezi river that feeds it increased and rains fell in the area.

The development has also brought hope that increased water flow will result in improved water levels in Lake Kariba downstream.

The rising waters could enable the Zambian government to avert a total shutdown of the hydropower plant at Kariba.

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48 COMMENTS

  1. “Our nation’s infrastructure is collapsing, and the American people know it. Every day, they drive on roads with unforgiving potholes and over bridges that are in disrepair. They wait in traffic jams and ride in railroads and subways that are overcrowded. They see airports bursting at the seams. For too many years, we have dramatically underfunded the physical infrastructure that our economy depends on. That is why I have proposed the Rebuild America Act, to invest $1 trillion over five years to modernize our infrastructure” says Sanders, the American presidential hopeful. Great minds think alike. Make your own conclusion. It is comforting to note that even in America infrastructure is allowed to collapse. I thought it was a Zambian phenomenon only.

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    • This shows that its Nothing to do with PF and load shedding being synonymous.

      Just pray for rains

      Thanks
      BB2014

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    • These lies by the PF govt is alarming. They sold the old genuine machines that produced electricity even when the water is low and pocketed the money, further, they replaced them with counterfeit machines that requires more water to generate electricity. Now these are the repercussions of failing to use qualified engineers.

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    • Our God is Great, No Load Shading then since we have the water level back. How nice this is so that we see what lies PF will give?? as an excuse for lack of electricity in the country.
      Guess Lungu, Dora and PF?? Are praying to have another drought to cover up their incompetence.

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    • DO NOT CELEBRATE YET!! The VITAL QUESTION is, HAS THE BASE OF THE DAM BEEN REPAIRED OR FORTIFIED before the dam starts refilling to its normal levels??? IF NOT, WE BETTER PRAY HARD THAT IT DOESN’T FILL before the ESSENTIAL REPAIRS ARE DONE, becoz we will live to appreciate LOAD-SHEDDING, than having NO DAM AT ALL – thanks to all the Quack managers at ZESCO & KARIBA DAM who have GROSSLY NEGLECTED MAINTENANCE OF THIS ASSET!!

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    • MULI CHIPUBA BAWISHI IMWE. DO NOT COMPARE AMERICA WITH ZAMBIA. AMERICA HAS DIFFERENT REASONS/LEVELS FOR THE COLLAPSING OF THEIR INFRASTRURE/AT WHICH THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE IS COLLAPSING. THE COLLAPSED INFRASTRUCTURE IN AMERICA MAY NOT BE LOOKED AT AS SUCH IN ZAMBIA. THE COLLAPSED INFRASTRUCTURE IN AMERICA IS MAINLY NOT DUE TO LACK OF FUNDS WHILE IN ZAMBIA IS DEEPLY DUE TO LACK OF FUNDS TO BUILD OR MAINTAIN THE SAME. YOU ARE FUULISHLY MIXING TWO VERY DIFFERENT ECONOMIES. WHETHER YOU MAINTAIN THE KARIBA DAM OR NOT IT IS STILL THE RAIN THAT IS GOING TO FILL IT UP TO PRODUCE ELECTRICITY OVER WHICH ZAMBIA GOVT HAVE NO CONTROL. IN FACT IT’S THE WESTERN COUNTRIES’ AND CHINA’S CARELESSNESS THAT IS CAUSING GLOBAL WARMING THAT IS AFFECTING WHEATHER PATTERNS.

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    • @Patrick. Yes there would have been load shedding had the Americans depended on 100% hydro as Zambia does and there was a drought. Fortunately for them they depend largely on thermal power stations using coal. This is why there are the largest polluters in the world followed by China and India.

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  2. Am I seeing right? I cannot see any water behind the dam. These tuma puppies! So it is true what Dr Scott said, “the Zambezi River Authority is a weak regulator sitting between two puppies drinking milk from the same saucer and if one does not lick fast enough, it will not get as much as the other one. The equity between and the neutrality of that installation has got to be restored somehow by effectively bringing back the judgmental status of a neutral body and the discipline between the two countries. It needs to be built into something which you can rely upon such that you are not going to finish the water by September and then look for another source like the ship stranded on the shores of Mozambique.” This has been made much worse, he continues, by the 360 MW contraption, which was…

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    • This “Engneer” is totally bonkers – doesn’t even know which side of the dam holds water – the photo is taken from the front, & water is held behind – UNLESS his eyes can see thru concrete!!
      Going to school MAKES A DIFFERENCE – NOT buying FORGED PAPERS!!

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    • Agreed. He is suffering from dementia and the last time he saw an arch dam was 50 years ago and forgot that it is the back of the arch that holds the water. 3 cm with a depth of 100m at the dam wall is very little.

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    • …3cm is a lot by volume bwana….and what that means is that there is less water draining than what is pouring in which is good news atleast for a moment….my prayer is for it to fill up to the brim so that we see what excuse ZESCO will have then…
      …my concern is the Chinese turbines…im told it consumes more water for the same out put compared to Swedish/German turbines…by August the dam will be empty again if we maintain the supply 24/7….

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    • @Scrutinizerer you are the man i like your point. Filling the Kariba to the brim so we see what excuse they will give.

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    • I love the logic of characters on this site!!

      Of course any vessel will only FILL UP WHEN THERE IS LESS DRAINING OUT!! Talk about stating the obvious!! IT IS THE REASON THE DAM WAS BUILT – TO HOLD BACK WATER & NOT ALLOW IT TO DRAIN!!!

      As for the volume resulting from a3cm rise, which some smart brain thinks is nothing – 3cm x 280 Sq Km of surface area will tell you how much more the LAKE BEHIND the dam has increased in volume!!

      A dam will NEVER FILL TO IT’S BRIM, as SLUICE GATES WILL OPEN to prevent a catastrophe!!
      They are ALWAYS located below the brim as you can tell from the photo!!

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    • “PF” why NOT??? You can either convert cm to their Km equivalent or vice versa – You are “PF” no surprises there – No vision, No education!!

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  3. LT, even a cheap photo from a smart phone showing the actual water-level is hard to find. Just call someone around Kariba dam and take a snap-shot and send it via whatsapp to you. You guys are really cheap, like really!

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    • Mr Dull (The fantasist), why then do you choose to read “cheap” news from LT? Kabiye weka nishi ku Kariba and take your own foto. You are such an ungrateful son of a human who after eating free things from LT, you choose to say the food you ate stinks. Come on girl, grow up.

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  4. This is sad news to UPND suporters. Why should Zambians feel bad when things in their own country improve? Thankyou lord thankyou father. God of Edgar lungu will see us through.

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    • @mosco puttin – Its called “Rainy Season” for a reason. We all what and need the rain during rainy season! In fact, 3 cm rise is nothing. I want that dam to be full of water. People are talking about PF’s lack of planning or foresight.

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    • @Moscow Show me where it says UPND are unhappy that water levels in the Kariba dam have gone up?? Those are just your own useless prayers. I am not a spokesman for UPND, but I know their message, and that is how did we end up in this situation in the first place?? The mediocrity resulting in this situation will carry on and until next time. The same mediocrity has never really explained how drought for the first time caused the dam to dry out

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  5. PF has done the job. Pipo accused the winning party that it was responsible for the drought. Let’s praise it too fo the down pour. In two weeks time Loadshedding will only remain in HHs head

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  6. @Mosco Puttin you’re dull man, you are the same chaps that believe everything you read. Even if your Lungu said that Zambia’s debt has been canceled, you would believe in a blink of an eye. Gullible you are!

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    • Jay only in yo dreams! I am certain even you don’t believe what ur saying, do u? UPND greatly benefited from an Empty dam. Than any 1 else. The PF will equally benefit from a floaded lake.

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  7. Good news. For those interested’ “”Search diga Kariba on you tube”. Its a video showing the construction of kariba dam in colour. video was shot by impressit of italy. its very interesting.

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  8. @Spark jarrow you are the dullest man, is not you who believe in what ever you god hh tells you? He tells you he will reinstate rentreched miners you believe, how, we dont know. He tells you he will end loadshedding you believe, how we dont know. You are so dull man!!

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  9. Then why is it that I still have more than 8hrs every day of load-shedding in a prime city area?

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  10. I wouldn’t believe this article! The mistake was made when genuine turbines were removed and replaced with fake Chinese ones. Now we are all suffering because of greedy men and women. Zambians have been held ransom by a few individuals.

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    • Please read Dr Scott’s explanation who commissioned the 350 MW contraption. It has nothing to do with the make of the turbines.

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    • Yes you must have slept through your geography lesson. The dam stands at 128m high and 579 m long. Lake Kariba is 280 kilometres long. It is almost the distance from Lusaka to Ndola (320 km) and holds 185 cubic kilometres of water. 1 km long, 1 km wide and 1 km high is a cubic km now 185 of this.

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    • Engineer I know u pipo can’t explain anything in English. Yo comment is nice and confusing. Ur saying 579 m and 280 km long? What are u saying

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  11. I should hope the dam is now filling – it’s the rainy season!!

    The real question is how much would it normally have filled by this time of year and how far behind we are because of the poor rains. I’d also like to know how long will it take to make up for this government’s decision to draw the reserves down so there was zero load shedding during Lungu’s by-election.

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  12. This is indeed sad news to UPND and HH..Ati Zambia forward, when all they wish for are zambians to suffer

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    • THAT IS SUCH A STUPID COMMENT !! ANYWAY THERE IS MORE BEING PUMPED OUT TO GENERATE ELECTRICITY THEN WHAT IS COMING IN! THE LAKE WILL NEVER FILL UP WITH CHINESE TURBINES!! AND THEY ARE PUTTING MORE ON THE ZIMBABWE SIDE SO THEY WILL ALSO BE PUMPING MORE WATER OUT OF THE LAKE

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  13. It takes one whole month to reduce 1metre of water from the lake at fully capacity opening. any hope of releasing water this season. am worried about the state of the wall.
    we have disadvantages both ways. God help us.

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  14. Jees there are some dumb a.sses on this site, dam level is capped at (I think) 70% for safety reasons, the lake is the largest man made lake in the world, the dam (is the wall only) which is not the largest. Dam completed in 1958 took 5 years to fill 1963. Metre is the unit of measurement not km or cm so convert every measurement to M then do your sums. Dam holds 180 billion M3 or 180 trillion litres. 3cm equates to .11% roughly (point 11%) at that rate it will take 10 months of rains equal to the Jan rainfall to gain 1% or 70 months to reach the 70% cap, given a rainfall season of 6-7 months it will take 10 years to fill at current outflow volumes. lets hope this low rain fall is only short term.

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  15. And that does not even take into account the outflows in the dry months which would add another 6 or so years to the filling time.

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  16. Thank you Rhodesian Dept of Water Affairs. Well explained! I think the Rhodesian Federation should have remained that way we would have enough economic power to maintain infrastructure and enough brains to solve problems.

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