Infrastructure Projects in the Zambezi Region

Infrastructure Projects in the Zambezi Region

The Zambezi River Basin (ZRB), consisting of Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, is integral to the lives and basic needs of the 30 million people with access to it. The riparian economies that the ZRB facilitates have consistently enjoyed economic growth above 6% year on year, though in the past 30 years, little investment has been made into the ZRB itself in the past 30 years.

The CIWA Zambezi River Basin Program

The Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) was established in 2011 as a partnership between the World Bank, and the Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands and United Kingdom governments to provide a trust fund to the riparian governments in Sub-Saharan Africa. This fund will enable the African governments concerned to bring about sustainable and inclusive growth within their countries, reducing current poverty levels as well as providing better resilience against climate issues.

The current projects under the program are: 

1. Zambezi River Basin Management Project

The objective of this project is to fortify the Zambezi Watercourse Commission’s role in the development and management of the Zambezi River Basin. This will be carried out in the form of institutional strengthening, an increase in the sharing of pertinent information, as well as increased support for decision-making and strategic planning. The CIWA’s partner in this project is the ZAMCOM Secretariat.

Key Projected Results:

  • A permanent ZAMCOM Secretariat will be legally established, and enabled with functions defined in the ZAMCOM Agreement.
  • A plan for financial sustainability which is based on member state contributions.
  • The development of a Basin-wide Master Plan.
  • The development of a Flood-forecasting and early warning system.
  • The enhancement of the Zambezi Water Information System.

 2. Zambezi River Basin Development Project

The purpose of the second phase of the The CIWA Zambezi River Basin Program is to speed the preparation of the Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme, while at the same time working towards reinforcing the cooperative development of the Zambezi River Basin region. The partner in this project is the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA).

Key Projected Results:

  • An updated feasibility study for the Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme.
  • An Environmental, as well as Social Assessment for the Batoka Gorge Scheme.
  • Improving the safety of the existing Kariba hydropower complex with the completion of a dam break analysis.
  • The completion of the legal review of governance and organizational oversight.
  • The development of available options for the future role of ZRA in the Zambezi basin.

3. The Zambezi Region’s Ambulance Boat

The Zambezi region received this custom-made boat, the first of its kind, in May this year. The ambulance boat is kitted out with beds and medical supplies and cost the Namibian government over N$1 million. The boat will ensure that people in flood-prone areas will be able to access medical assistance, when previously they have been cut off from hospitals and medical services.

Delays in getting ambulance services from the district hospital in cases of emergencies shall be a thing of the past,” statedRichard Kamwi,the Minister of Health and Social Services at the handover of the boat to the region. “It [the craft] will help carry our patients for referral to Katima even in shallow waters. The ministry has worked very hard to ensure that the Schuckmannsburg PHC clinic was upgraded in 2012 and now Impalila Island clinic’s upgrading is almost 100 percent complete.”

Not only will the boat be able to assist those in medical emergencies, but Kamwi is excited about what it means for the overall improvement of the average citizen’s healthcare.  “It is hoped that apart from patient referral most of the health programmes of immunisation, malaria and health promotion on HIV and AIDS issues shall be well executed,” said Kamwi.

For further reading, go to these sites:

  1. CIWA in the Zambezi Basin”, The World Bank, 30 April 2014. Available at:
  2. Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA)”, The World Bank. Available at:
  3. Ambulance boat to boost health service in Zambezi”, New Era, 6 May 2014. Available at:
David Okwara

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