The Conference of Ministers in-charge of the Lake Tanganyika Authority (LTA) have tasked Tanzania to submit a consent for the construction of a dam along the Lufubu river in Zambia, the largest tributary of the Lake Tanganyika.
The decision was arrived at as part of the Resolutions during the recently held Tenth Ordinary Meeting of the Conference of Ministers in Bujumbura, Burundi with representation from the host country, Zambia, Tanzania and Congo D.R.
For Zambia, the honorable Minister of Green Economy and Environment Hon Eng. Collins Nzovu was represented at the meeting by Director Environment in the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment Godwin Fishani Gondwe.
And during the engagements, Mr Nzovu urged the Council of Ministers to ensure that implementation of the Resolutions that have been adopted is prioritized by member states in order to reduce the current challenges being faced in the lake basin.
“As the honorable Minister of Green Economy and Environment, I therefore urge that the LTA riparian countries to prioritize the adopted resolutions,” he said
Mr Nzovu said that the basin is still under severe threats posed by climate change, unsustainable utilization of natural resources and other factors affecting the ecological integrity of the lake.
“We must continue to hold our hands together in unity and as one Lake Tanganyika family in efforts to find lasting solutions to various environmental challenges affecting our common shared heritage – the Lake Tanganyika and its basin,” Mr Nzovu said
He added that these challenges are threatening the realization of important commitments such as achieving National Development Plans, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs.
The Minister also acknowledged that the LTA Secretariat has been facing financial challenges, from its inception in 2003 hence the need for the riparian countries to resolve the problem together.
He urged member states to make tangible recommendations on sustainable financing arrangements that will facilitate resource mobilisation to support other regional and national efforts that promote conservation and sustainable use of the Lake Tanganyika basin resources.
“Resource mobilisation must be prioritized by all riparian countries as the threats to the lake basin caused by pollution, over-fishing and other impacts caused by human activities remain very high,” the Minister said
Northern Province has lagged behind due to poor and inadequate growth-enhancing infrastructure such as a hydropower plant to provide electricity, which has been identified as an enabler of socio-economic development.
The Lufubu Hydropower Station will seek to mitigate the challenge of power deficits through the provision of reliable and affordable electricity in the region.
The project will also stimulate economic activity through the creation of jobs for the local people as well facilitating for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to thrive.
The Lufubu hydropower cascade includes three plants (Lufubu 1, 2 and 3) which exploit an overall hydraulic head of approximately 315 m developing an installed power of 163 MW, in the first stage, which might be increased in a second stage up to 326 MW.
Lufubu Cascade was created through the synergy of a visionary Zambian entrepreneur and the engineering imagination of SP. The first Independent Power Producer in Zambia asked SP to study the entire Lufubu River in order to identify potentially promising sites for hydropower exploitation.
The waterway is formed by a headrace canal, 4.4 km long, and a penstock about 2.6 km long which conveys the flows to the turbines.
The generating unit of each power plant is coupled to a 132/11kV step-up transformer, rated respectively 80MVA (LU1), 50MVA (LU2) and 63MVA (LU3). Lufubu 1 substation is then interconnected to the 330kV grid via two 200MVA 330/132kV autotransformers (ATRs).
A surface powerhouse will host a francis turbine with an installed capacity of 66 MW. A second turbine might be installed in a second stage.The Powerhouse will host a Francis turbine with an installed power of 53 MW, that might be increased in the second phase.
The Lufubu Cascade is connected to the national grid by a 330 kV transmission line, which departs from the substation of Lufubu 1 HPP and terminates at the Mporokoso. The total length of the route is approximately 63 km. The Mporokoso substation hosts 330kV bays for line departures to Kasama, Lufubu and Kalungwishi stations, as well as two 330/66kV distribution transformer bays for stepping down the voltage for the connection to the distribution grid.