Thousands evacuated downstream of Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam

Thousands are evacuating from areas downstream of Zimbabwe’s Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam as it threatens to collapse under the duress of heavy rains.

Sources report that more than 4,000 families have been removed by the government, which has deployed 20 vehicles and a helicopter to assist in the effort.

Officials said Tokwe-Mukorsi’s face has developed cracks and possibly shifted slightly, though the government notes that reports of part of the dam already collapsing are inaccurate.

The dam was constructed by Ital’s Salini and Impregilo, which began construction in 1998. The project stalled, however, until 2008, when the Zimbabwean government allocated more than US$166 million for its completion.

At that time, developers said Tokwe-Mukorsi had the potential to open 25,000 hectares to irrigation and might include the future addition of a hydroelectric powerhouse.

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