From Zimbabwe, we have news six days ago of a water dam failing. At least my conlcusion is that it is failing. I base this conclusion on a series of photos at this link.
Now the government spoksman does not think the dam is failing. Here is the report that tells what he thinks:
Following cracks in the dam wall there were fears it would breach, threatening to unleash a wall of water into neighbouring villages, sweeping away thousands of people in its path.
However the government on Sunday urged the public not to panic as they said the issue can be resolved. Minister of Water Resources Saviour Kasukuwere said engineers were working flat out trying to reinforce the wall, although he admitted the situation is ‘challenging.’
A local insurance company said from its risk analysis of the site, the dam wall is unlikely to collapse. Champions Insurance operations director Munyaradzi Kativhu told the Daily News that the dam wall was not collapsing but a huge volume of water is forcing itself through the 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,’ Kativhu said.
Here is another set of mind-boggling statements out of Zimbabwe about the dam:
Press reports Thursday quoted ‘engineers’ allaying fears that the dam wall had collapsed. A Daily News report quoted Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) officials saying Masvingo province, which is where the mega dam is situated, received ‘double the amount of rain it usually gets.’ Chief Executive officer Albert Muyambo said this eventuality was not anticipated by the engineers who he said were working flat out to resolve the problem.
But Cross said he, together with his colleagues in the budget and finance parliamentary committee, advised the government last year to speed up the completion of the dam. He said they warned that unless the government found the funding and hired a professional engineering firm to oversee the project the construction of Tokwe Mukorsi dam would not be completed on time.
But Cross told SW Radio Africa that Zinwa, which supervises the construction of the Tokwe Mukorsi Dam, has no capacity to handle the project.
‘When we arrived there last year we found the site in shambles. I was very unhappy with the supervisory team which was there from the water authority. We found an engineer drinking beer. Nobody else was around.’ He added: ‘when I mentioned this to government I was told that Zinwa was doing a good job.’
Cross revealed that the project is about 85 percent finished.
And never will be finished I guess.
Those Zimbawean folk have convinced themselves there is no risk of collapse. Here is another report that sheds a bit more light on the circus of Africa.
The Financial Gazette can reveal that while a recent risk assessment ruled out the possibility of the dam wall collapsing, the conundrum dramatically playing out at Tokwe-Mukosi has everything to do with a 1992 decision to change the dam’s design in order to cut costs.
The dam is being constructed by Salini Construttori, an Italian construction company, that has built more than 20 large dams in three continents. With the lake fast filling up due to well above normal rains currently pounding the drought-prone Masvingo province, water is now seeping through the dam wall, heightening concerns that if the seepage persists it could further weaken the massive structure.
Fears are that if the surging waters beat the builders on the race to the spillways, the massive water volume would spill over the wall and wash away the dam wall. Reports are that Salini Construttori is building the dam wall at a rate of one metre per day, the same rate at which the water is rising in the lake.
The Financial Gazette can reveal that the designers of the initial dam wall, Coyne and Bellier, had proposed a concrete arch dam wall with crest overflow which would have cost the country Z$641 million as at October 1992.
“This was considered excessive and so the Designs Division of the Department of Water Development undertook a thorough investigation into the design report from Coyne and Bellier and came up with a cheaper alternative, in the form of a concrete-faced rock fill dam,” reads part of a 1998 report on the dam.
There are many more idiotic statements in hte same vein on hte web. Just on final one for your amazement and amusement.
Harare – The Zimbabwean government is appealing for $20m from international donors to evacuate and relocate 60 000 people living downstream of a dam in Masvingo province, amid fears that the dam wall could collapse.
State media reported on Wednesday that local government minister Ignatius Chombo said the money will be used to provide shelter, food and pay for the hire of helicopters ferrying stranded villagers living in the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam flood basin.
See the gallery here.
The state-run Herald reported that at least two people have died in the floods and 49 are marooned and need urgent evacuation.
Continuous heavy downpours countrywide have affected the dam. Images in the state media show the dam wall is leaking and fears are that if it bursts, an 18-metre wall of water could come gushing downstream.
However, Zimbabwean MDC Senator and former minister of education, sport, arts and culture, David Coltart, tweeted on Wednesday that fears of the dam wall being washed away have been laid off as the emergency spill way has been blasted.
Engineers on the site indicated that ‘there is no chance of [the] wall washing away” and while the situation may look dire to outsiders, it is under control, he wrote on his facebook page.
PS. 19 Feb 2014. Here is a link ot the most recent, reasonably compreheinsive report I can find. http://www.changezimbabwe.com/index.php/news-mainmenu-2/1-latest/4917-corruption-fingered-in-tokwe-mukosi-dam-disaster Just another story of incompetence and corruption. But this is Mugabe and his henchmen at their best/worst.
PPS. And I cannot resist this report from 19 Feb 2014–blinkers and bribes abound:
The Tokwe-Mukosi Dam wall, which is still under construction, will not collapse, a Zimbabwe National Water Authority official has said.
Zinwa’s Tokwe-Mukosi projects manager Engineer Taurai Maurukira said this in a briefing to Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga and Namibian Army Group Captain Abed Hihepa at the dam site in Masvingo province yesterday.
Namibia deployed nine military officers and two helicopters to help in evacuation of flood victims. Gen Chiwenga presented them with medals for their bravery during successful joint rescue missions of 500 marooned people. Eng Maurukira said the dam wall design was premised on similar ones in other countries. “The structure is strong and will never collapse,” he said. “The dam wall is structurally safe and we are using the latest technology to build it.” When complete, Tokwe-Mukosi will be the country’s largest inland water body with capacity of 1,8 billion cubic litres of water. The dam wall will be 89m high.
Eng Maurukira said there was no imminent danger to people downstream.
He said 2 600ha of land upstream was covered by water following weeks of heavy rains.
Gen Chiwenga, Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri and senior Government officials toured affected areas.
Gen Chiwenga said the ZDF would continue helping in relocations and commended the Namibian government and President Hefikupunye Pohamba and his Swapo Party for coming to Zimbabwe’s aid. Meanwhile, the Chinese community in Zimbabwe yesterday donated goods worth over US$40 000 to flood victims.
The goods include 20 tonnes of maize meal, 500 blankets, first aid kits and cooking oil and were handed over by China’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Lin Lin, to Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi. Dr Sekeramayi said, “(The donation) came at a timely moment, responding as it does to the declaration by the President that this is a national disaster.