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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Inflows into Kariba and Victoria Falls rise to a 13-year-high

Economy Inflows into Kariba and Victoria Falls rise to a 13-year-high

The Zambezi River Authority says water inflows into the upstream of Kariba and Victoria Falls have risen to levels last seen in 2006-7 season.

However, ZRA warns that electricity generation from Lake Kariba remains depressed as the Kariba dam wall’s water levels are yet to rise significantly.

Flows at Victoria Falls have increased by 25 percent, averaging 831 m3/s from the 663 m3/s flowrate recorded on February 7, 2020.

This comes as Lake Kariba levels increased in the past weeks and hydrological simulations have estimated that the levels will reach their peak in June this year at 478 metres, which will be about three metres above the minimum operating levels for power generation.

ZRA Chief Executive Engineer Munyaradzi Munodawafa said figures point to a marked improvement in inflows at Victoria Falls at the end of March.

He said indications are that the Barotse Flood Plains are filling up and expected to peak in March.

The flood plains, which are estimated to store 8,6 billion cubic metres of water, draw much of the flows that would have been recorded at Chavuma.

With them filling up, the resultant increased run-off is consequential to Victoria Falls and Lake Kariba, but ZRA has ruled out an immediate review of water allocations for power generation.

“A notable increase in the Zambezi River flows was recorded at the Chavuma Gauging Station, increasing by as much as 3 159 m3/s between the 7th and 21st February 2020, an indication of intense run-off from the rainfall received in the area around the Zambezi headwaters.”

“The flows recorded at Chavuma have continued to rise, trending above the long term average by 208 percent when you compare the current flows recorded on 21st February, 2020 of 4 621m3/s with the long-term average flow of 1 500m3/s.

“Further, the Chavuma flow recorded on 21st February, 2020 of 4 621m3/s is also the highest flow observed in the month of February since 2006-07 when a flow of 4 065m3/s was recorded on 14th February 2007,” he said.

Mr. Munodawafa said Lake Kariba was affected by low inflows between October 2019 and January 2020.

ZRA has put a cap of 22 billion cubic metres of water for power generation, about 12 billion cubic metres less than the 34 billion cubic metres allocated last year.

This translates to an average production of rate of 550MW shared equally between to riparian states.

“It is worth noting, however, that despite the increase in rainfall activities in the Kariba catchment area, there has been no significant rise in the Kariba Lake levels. Therefore, generation capacity remains constrained.”

[Read 19,132 times, 2 reads today]


  1. A seemingly uplifting article, in these recent days of gloom, washed away by one confusing and negative last paragraph

    • Uplifting? Its got so many vague expressions. “the Kariba dam wall’s water levels are yet to rise significantly” What is that? What are rainfall activities?

  2. But ZESCO is still using the water resources to generate power for export power to neighboring countries.
    Load shedding is still going on .Zambians are suffering from poor planning and a lack of leadership.

  3. Rubbish. By June my foot???? What measures is President Lungu and his Government putting in place in order to avoid lod shedding in future? This is what Lungu and his Government should be discussing now. Until now all we have heard about is:
    1. Goats export to Saudi Arabia (failed project)
    2. Marijuana export to Unknown Destination??? (Another to fail project)
    3. Importing of Crude Oil from Saudi Arabia (failed project)
    4. Importing of Electricity Power from South Africa (failed project) PF: Successful Projects
    Successful Projects
    1. Purchase of Presidential Private Jet ($65 million USA Dollars)
    2. Purchase of Transport planes for local use by President Lungu (Millions of Dollars) 3. Exportation of Mukulu trees by Lungu and his Cartel (Millions of…

  4. Cont……..
    3. Exportation of Mukulu trees by Lungu and his Cartel (Millions of Dollars)
    4. Sale of Black Lechwe to Private Ranches (Millions of Dollars)
    5. Purchase of Salaula firefighting trucks from USA (Millions of Dollars)
    6. Exporting of maize to neighboring Countries when Zambia has a shortage of mealie meal 7. Evacuation of useless…


  5. Cont….
    7. Evacuation of useless Politicians to South African Hospitals while Zambians (your employers are sent to the Death Trap in the nam of UTH

  6. What is making the water not to rise to levels where power generation significantly improves? This is the question begging an honest answer. Are the turbines fake? Is the dam wall leaking?

  7. one article two different stories…very contradicting…..highest level since 2006 and again its still empty…Zambian Engineers and Lusaka Times too much pop ups on your website, i can hardly read your articles on my phone

  8. Imwe ba Zesco what is going on….how can you have highest level of water in 13 years but at the same time the Kariba dam is empty?? Can you explain the science behind this? Next time just keep quiet if you have no explanation. We are not kids ..mwaumfwa???

  9. This explanation is useless,how can you have highest water flows in the kariba and victoria falls areas,but the kariba dam walls are still empty,God has exposed you,you used to blame load shedding on low water levels but this year,God has given us a lot of rains and now you are failing on what to point at to blame,you are now just yupping,ensoni ebuntu,you are just decampaining yourselves further.

  10. I just read an article today that stated opposite by Zambezi RA that dam is still water level is below normal levels. Kariba dam will overflow this year but guess what they (PF and ZESCO) wont admit it for three reasons;
    1. PF govt due greed and love for kickbacks installed cheap inefficient Chink turbines when there was no need to
    2. There is construction currently underway at the Kariba Dam Plunge hole opening the gates now would not be advisable
    3. PF govt will push this lie along as possible so they can continue loadshedding whilst they import electricity to neighbouring countries and misappropriate the funds for other purposes like paying off debt.

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  12. Who is protecting Sikutwa of Madison Life and Madison General?
    He has been declaring dividend from these companies while knowing very well that both companies are insolvent?
    Lungu in his pockets?

  13. The water inflows into the upstream of Kariba have risen to levels last seen in 2006-7 season.Good but you have not told us the significance of water rising but the second sentence says it all. In addition you have not informed the nation that due to change of generators you made some years ago from the British low volume water consumption with high power generation to Chinese high water volume with low power generation, the situation will change little.
    We can not do anything with climate change so it is high time we sought other alternatives to hydroelectric power.

  14. These f.ools will never cease to amze me.Just yesteray ati we need 3 years fir the dam to feel to such levels and today ati the dam has reached 13 years maximum. Did these guys went to school or are just fvcking PF cadres who have no clue of what to say to anyone. People are still suffering 24/7 load shedding in Zambia and all they are interested in are fake stories just to be seen “working”. This kind of rhetorics and irritation that are empty should come to an end.
    What a disaster!!!! And what a waste of space and time!!!!

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