ZIMBABWE and Zambia have through the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), launched a five-year strategy to boost water infrastructure development, increase power generation and boost the socio and economic development for both countries among other things.
ZRA is owned by the two Governments and manages the Kariba Dam resources on behalf of the two neighbouring nations.
According to the 2020-2024 strategy, demand for electricity in Zambia and Zimbabwe is projected to grow to 6 713 megawatts and 6 344 megawatts by 2045.
Construction of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme with an installed capacity of 2 400 megawatts and producing 5 035GWh firm energy annually, will be a game changer in boosting socio-economic development and public value.
This will in turn provide affordable energy and reduce the power deficit in Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Officially launching the strategy on a virtual platform yesterday, ZRA chairperson and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Engineer Gloria Magombo said the strategy was expected to increase water storage volume on the Zambezi River Basin catchment from the current 181 billion cubic metres to 182,65 billion cubic metres by 2024.
She said the strategy would also focus on improvement of corporate governance and compliance, increased access to sustainable social amenities by US$1,2 million by 2024, integrated Zambezi River Basin management, change management, partnership relationship management, performance management and financial sustainability.
“The Corporate Strategy for the period 2020-2024 which we are launching today was formulated through wide consultative participation of both internal and external stakeholders. The preparation involved undertaking several consultative activities which included one to one interviews, focus group discussions, workshops, field research and desk research among others, in both Zambia and Zimbabwe and beyond in some instances.
“We are looking at being a model organisation in dam and water resources management in the Zambezi River Basin. This is the area of the basin which is bordering between Zambia and Zimbabwe and key to this development is based on the values for all stakeholders which we have come up with which are shared values.
“Those values are anchored on safety because when we deal with huge water sources, safety is critical but also when you look at honesty, integrity, professionalism and respect (Shipre)” she said.
In a follow up interview, Eng Magombo said there was a possibility of increasing power generation capacity along the Zambezi Basin and there were various key result areas.
“This is not just the integration of the Zambezi River Basin but we are looking at how to improve on the water storage infrastructure and increase its capacity.
Eng Magombo said they were also looking at working on the feasibility studies of increasing additional capacity along the Zambezi on the Devil’s Gorge.
“We want to ensure that within five years, these projects are funded and we want to ensure all of these projects are done taking into consideration issues of the environment management and protection. There will also be issues financial sustainability, performance of authority and stakeholder satisfaction will be driving this.
The Zambezi River Authority is an organisation connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia in their quest to promote socio-economic development and has a statutory mandate to operate, monitor and maintain the Kariba Complex and any other infrastructure on the stretch of the Zambezi River which forms a common border between the two countries.■