Thursday, July 18, 2024

Water levels at Kariba sink to two-decade low


Kariba dam under rehabilitation
Kariba dam under rehabilitation


The Kariba dam has plunged to its lowest level since 1996, raising further risks to the hydropower plants that Zimbabwe and Zambia depend on for nearly half of their power.

Water levels at the world’s largest man-made freshwater reservoir that straddles the two countries, fell to 10% of usable storage, according to data posted on the Zambezi River Authority’s website.

That’s the least since 1996 and worse than the 11% recorded during a drought in 2016.

Large parts of Zambia and Zimbabwe are experiencing the worst drought in at least four decades, forcing the nations to cut generation from Kariba after water flows fell sharply in the Zambezi river that feeds it.

Each country has implemented power cuts lasting as long as 18 hours a day as a result.

The two nations’ economies have suffered.

Zambia’s will grow by less than 2% this year, the lowest in more than two decades, while Zimbabwe’s economy will contract by 7.1%, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Seasonal rains, which usually fall from October through April aren’t off to a good start, even as the volume of water tumbling over Victoria Falls rose to 252 cubic meters per second by Monday.

While that’s more than double the lows reached in November, it’s only slightly better than 234 cubic meters measured this time last year, which ended up being one of the worst seasons on record.

The flows at Victoria Falls are a good indication of how much water is entering Kariba as there aren’t any major tributaries before the Zambezi reaches the dam about 125 kilometers (78 miles) to the east.

Outflows from Kariba’s turbines were 987 cubic meters per second on Dec. 8, nearly quadruple the amount of water flowing into the dam.

Zambia’s meteorological department forecasts normal to better-than-normal rain for the current season, but international forecasters including the South African Weather Service predict less-than-normal precipitation for much of the region.


  1. How are these boards constituted? For a long time I have wondered how board members in Zambia , especially -.govt. institution s. Do aspiring candicadates apply? Are these positions politically motivated?nki? Kindly educate me on this.

  2. Use the time to repair the cracks that you can not fix when it’s full stop complaining. If kk hadn’t come up with daming water wonder how much would have been lost importing power

    • elo when a miracle happens and that thing gets full, kindly start load shedding us at least an hour or 2 day a day. Dont wait until September when the water levels become lower again. ndaba this nonsense of load shedding us 23 hours a day is not funny at all.

    • It was not KK’s idea to dam the Zambezi River and the Kafue River. It was the idea of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland to dam the Zambezi River at Kariba Gorge while the Northern Rhodesian Government, NRG as it was popularly known, to dam the Kafue River at Kafue Gorge. KK was busy fighting the Federation and Zambia’s independence when these ideas were being formulated.

  3. Boza! They purchased fake turbines from China that dried up the water.Is this the first time Zambia is experiencing drought?

  4. Ifintu ni lungu tefyo? I thought you had national prayers for this? Has your god shunned you ? Instead of concentrating on investing in solar and other alternative energy sources, you are busy praying for rains like mad uncivilized people

  5. No point crying everyday over less rain.Find alternative solar energy and
    Start investing in these projects. Instead
    Of investing in roads and buildings and
    Boasting about eating cheese lets stop
    Loadshedding and boost the economy.

  6. It’s raining heavily here in Mwinilunga, Zambezi source. Expect floods down the Kariba. Prophets of doom will be ashamed….!! Negativity is a cancer that blocks the analysis power of negative minded people…!

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