Work to improve the Massingir dam, in Mozambique’s Gaza province, including construction of an auxiliary spillway, is due to end in November said the director-general of regional water management company Administração Regional das Águas Sul (ARA-Sul).
The work, which is estimated to cost US$29 million provided by the African Development Bank (ADB) and the central government, is being carried out by the China Henan International Cooperation Group (CHICO).
The director-general of ARA-Sul, Belarmino Chivambo, said that the decision to build an auxiliary spillway was based on the results of hydrological studies carried out after floods in 2000, which showed that the dam’s discharge capacity needed to increase as it was unable to cope with large floods.
The main aim of the work, according to Chivambo, cited by Mozambican news agency AIM, is to make the dam safer by doubling its discharge capacity and preventing water from spilling over and eroding the dam.
Once the safety of the dam is ensured, said the director of ARA-Sul, it will be possible to store water to the dam’s highest level even during the dry season, allowing it to irrigate up to 90,000 hectares of land.
The Massingir Dam, on the Elefantes River, the main affluent of the Limpopo River, measure 46 metres at its highest point. (macauhub/MZ)