African bank allots funds to repair Mozambique’s Massingir Dam

The African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a US$20.6 million loan July 16, 2009, to rehabilitate bottom outlets of Massingir Dam in Mozambique.

Outlet pipes at Massingir Dam ruptured in 2008, a year after US$60 million in dam rehabilitation work had been completed with funding from AfDB. In September 2008, AfDB had agreed to contribute US$30 million to help repair the outlet pipes at Massingir. (HydroWorld 9/15/08)

The funding was approved by the board of directors of AfDB’s African Development Fund, representing more than 60 percent of the repair cost, with Mozambique to pay the remainder. The emergency rehabilitation project is intended to prevent the dam’s total collapse in the event of a heavy downpour. It also is to improve the dam’s operational efficiency, improving food production and living standards of area farmers.

In June 2007, Mozambique President Armando Guebuza had inaugurated the rehabilitated Massingir Dam, after work was completed to correct serious leakage that began within months after the dam was completed in 1977 on Mozambique’s Olifants River. (HydroWorld 6/7/07)

The leakage had prevented the reservoir from holding more than 40 percent of its capacity. That reduced irrigation potential 60 percent and delayed a plan to build a 40-MW hydro plant. Upon completion of the leakage repairs the reservoir was refilled until the rupture of Massingir’s outlet pipes in May 2008.

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