HARARE - A local insurance company says from its risk analysis of the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam, its dam wall is unlikely to collapse.
The dam flooded last week following heavy rains.
There were reports flooding was caused by cracks on the dam wall raising fears it could collapse due to rising water levels over the past few days.
Government has since evacuated 4 000 villagers downstream of Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam, who were at risk of being swept away by floods caused by heavy rains.
In an interview with the Daily News last week, Champions Insurance operations director Munyaradzi Kativhu said the dam wall was not collapsing but a huge volume of water forced itself through the dam wall that is still under construction.
“We carried out a risk management analysis and the dam wall is not collapsing. The dam wall was built through compacting rocks and these rocks have not been plastered. So the floods were caused by huge volumes of water which perforated through the dam wall,” he said.
Kativhu added that; “The only damage that we saw was that rocks were now blocking the access roads to the dam. Otherwise there is no damage to the wall. Everything is going according to plan and as we speak construction is underway.”
Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam is being built by Italian company Salini Impregilio.
The project, with a cost of $156 million, is designed to boost the drought-resistance of a region that normally receives insufficient rainfall.
When completed, Tokwe-Mukorsi is set to be the country’s largest inland water body with a capacity to hold 1,8 billion cubic litres of water and the dam wall will measure 89m.
The dam wall project is insured to the tune of 63 million Euros.
Government through the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) and members of the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) airlifted some families whose homes were marooned last week.
Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, Masvingo provincial minister of State, said government was on high alert, with rescue teams on the ground to avoid loss of lives.
Government has since dispatched over 20 vehicles and one helicopter to evacuate the villagers to Chingwizi area in Nuanetsi Ranch. The process requires about $9 million.
“We are highly prepared to save lives and we have started on a good note,” Bhasikiti said.
“Right now we are moving people to Chingwizi and the whole operation is going on well, with no loss of lives or property so far.
“We have the CPU and members of the Sub Aqua Unit stationed here to save people. So our state of preparedness is good.”