• There are no areas that have been seen or are foreseen in which the dam can break.
• The Authority does not expect anything bad to happen to the dam.
• Emergency response mock drill was meant to assess warning mechanisms, communication, and coordination as well as response by the communities downstream.
Zambezi River Authority says the Kariba Dam is very safe with progress of works going on at the site each day that passes by strengthening it.
In an update to the public regarding the Kariba Dam Emergency Response Plan Mock Drill which took place on, 21st June 2022 from 10:00hrs to 12:30hrs, Authority Chief Executive Engineer Munyaradzi Munodawafa says there are no areas that have been seen or are foreseen in which the dam can break.
Engineer Munodawafa assured that the Authority does not expect anything bad to happen to the dam as it is being watched to ensure sure that it lasts long in giving value to both Zambia and Zimbabwe.
He added that the Authority’s emergency response mock drill was meant to assess warning mechanisms, communication, and coordination as well as response by the communities downstream of the Kariba Dam as well as Emergency Mitigation Agencies stating that Emphasis was placed on preparing to evacuate from the Zambezi River’s banks as most communities most likely to be first affected downstream partake in fishing and riverbank cultivation activities.
“Emphasis was placed on preparing to evacuate from the Zambezi River’s banks as most communities downstream partake in fishing and riverbank cultivation activities. In the event of such an emergency, these individuals are the ones most likely to be first affected,” said Engineer Munodawafa.
Engineer Munodawafa added that during the exercise, the offices of the Siavonga and Chirundu District Commissioner in Zambia and their counterpart, the Kariba and Hurungwe District Development Coordinators in Zimbabwe played a critical role.
He added that in like manner, the local emergency response teams working under the Zambian Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit and the Zimbabwean Department of Civil Protection respectively participated in the drill soon after an alert was relayed to them.
“During any emergencies at district levels, these agencies coordinate the emergency response for the Governments of the respective countries,” explained Engineer Munodawafa who stated that on the other hand, the Authority has an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) in place which should guide all stakeholders in the event of an emergency.
According to him, “this ERP will be tested once every two years or as necessary through mock drills.”
He disclosed that the post-drill feedback and analysis will be incorporated into the current Emergency Preparedness Plan as well as relevant operations and maintenance manuals to ensure enhanced communication and effective responses among the Authority, other Government agencies and downstream communities in both Zimbabwe and Zambia to save lives, assets and, the environment before or during any dam emergency occurrences.