Zimbabwe’s Tokwe-Mukosi dam to undergo reconstruction

Tokwe-Mukosi damfotolia

Italian company, Salini Impregilo, has been awarded the tender for construction of a new wall for Zimbabwe’s largest inland lake,Tokwe-Mukosi Dam. This is after the original structure burst.

The dam will be drained enable safe and easy reconstruction of the damaged wall.

Construction is scheduled to begin in June this year. The engineers are currently constructing a rock fill. The project involves the construction of a Concrete Faced Rock fill Dam (CFRD). The intake structure comprises a 35 m tall tower with grilles which direct the water to a 6 m diameter tunnel with a left bank 350 m long, with a regulation tower and closing sluices.

The release of the water into the river bed takes place through two 2 m diameter pipes. There are two spillway overflows, on the left and right banks, with a 6 m diameter drainage tunnel approximately 200 m long. In the way of ancillary works there are plans for an 8 km access road and a stone and concrete cofferdam 15 m tall and 133 m long at the crown. The project is completed by 5 saddle dams on the right bank.

Concern has been raised as to why the water would not be used productively but engineers argue that nothing can be done to ensure reproductive usage of the date adding that diversion of the water to other points will cost more money that has not been allocated for the project.

However, during the draining of the dam, Zimbabweans living downstream who want to use the water will be allowed to do so.

According to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority officials the Tokwe Mukosi dam project is expected to cost US$ 430m. So far, according to engineers about US$181m has been used and the completion of the dam is scheduled for August.

The Tokwe Mukorsi Dam is a concrete-face rock-fill dam on the Tokwe River, just downstream of its confluence with the Mukorsi River, about 72 km (45 mi) south of Masvingo in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe. Construction on the dam began in June 1998 but stalled in 2008. Salini Impregilo began to finish the dam in 2011. Heavy flooding in February 2014 caused a partial failure on 4 February, on the downstream face of the dam.As of late February the dam had not fully breached but the unplanned rising reservoir behind the dam has caused evacuations upstream. When complete, the dam will be 90.3 m (296 ft) tall and withhold a 1,750,000,000 m3 (1,420,000 acre·ft) reservoir. The associated power station will have a 12 MW installed capacity.