Cape Town –The Zambian government has reportedly moved swiftly to try and mobilise funds to help prevent the imminent collapse of the Kariba Dam.
According to the Times of Zambia, government had approached the European Union (EU), World Bank and African development Bank (ADB) for assistance in the major repairs of the dam.
Reports last week said at least 3.5 million people in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia were in danger amid revelations that the dam wall had developed "serious structural weaknesses" and was on the verge of collapse.
Zambian Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary Felix Nkulukusa was quoted as saying that there was need for Zimbabwe and Zambia to raise $250m to avert a major humanitarian and economic crisis.
World's largest dams
The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) said the dam wall suffered from alkali-aggregate reaction, which induces swelling within the concrete mass.
Nkulukusa said another problem was caused by the spillway that was no longer opening and closing automatically to maintain the required water levels.
Nkulukusa said the dam wall risked being washed away if nothing was done in the next three years.
Kariba is one of the world's largest dams measuring 128 metres in height and 579 metres long.
The dam is situated in the Kariba Gorge of the Zambezi River basin between Zambia and Zimbabwe.