AWF supports construction of multi-purpose dams in Zambia

Kariba dam ZambiaThe dams are expected to benefit around 90,000 people. (Image source: Benbbb/flickr)The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved an African Water Facility (AWF) grant of US$1.2mn to help the Zambian government develop, test and adopt updated guidelines

The new framework would be used for programming as well as designing the financing, construction and operations of multi-purpose small dams, according to the African Press Organization (APO).

The dams are expected to directly improve the lives and livelihoods of an estimated 90,000 people and indirectly benefit about a million people living in rural areas. This would therefore enhance water security in more vulnerable parts of the country.

The funding would be used to modernise and update the guidelines which govern and promote investments in multi-purpose small dams. This would be with the aim of giving greater relevance to the selection of potential dams using criteria based on community interest and environmental protection, as well as building confidence of potential development partners.

The urgent need for building additional small-purpose dams in the country comes as hydro-climatic variability increases due to climate change. This has intensified water stress, particularly in the drought-prone areas of the Eastern, Central and Southern provinces.

The small dams would help sustain the lives and livelihoods of local communities through multiple uses, by securing access to water for domestic use, agriculture and fish farming. They would also sustain livestock and various water-dependent activities such as mini hydropower systems, brick-making, tree growing, and food processing.

The dams would also be beneficial instruments for climate change adaptation by attenuating the impact of flooding.

The project will be implemented over a period of 36 months.

Wallace Mawire

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
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