WORLD BANK TO FINANCE COMPLETION OF MOZAMBICAN DAM BUILT IN 1983-1989

MAPUTO — The reservoir behind the Corumana Dam, on the Sabie river in Maputo province will have its water storage capacity almost doubled by December next year with the installation of floodgates, says Mozambique’s Minister of Public Works, Joao Machatine.

The dam was built under an Italian co-operation agreement between 1983 and 1989 but because of the

danger posed from attacks by the apartheid-backed rebel movement Renamo at that time, it was never completed and the floodgates initially planned were never installed so that when the dam started operating in 1990, the water storage capacity was much lower than expected.

The apartheid war against Mozambique ended in 1992, but the dam was still not completed. But now the World Bank is financing the installation of the floodgates at a cost of 25 million US dollars.

Speaking at a ceremony on Sunday to lay the first stone for the floodgates, Machatine said the government had been negotiating for several years with various partners for funding to complete the dam. The matter became urgent with the crisis in water supply for the Greater Maputo region over the last three years.

The Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area currently draws most of its water from the reservoir behind the Pequenos Libombos dam, on the Umbeluzi river. The reservoir fell to dangerously low levels in both 2017 and 2018, obliging the authorities to introduce water rationing.

The Corumana Dam is an obvious alternative if its storage capacity can be greatly increased. Currently the Corumana reservoir can hold 720 million cubic metres of water. According to Machatine, that will rise to 1.24 billion m3 once the floodgates have been installed.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK