Cyclone Ana affects the SVTP in Chikwawa

Story Courtesy of the Weekend Nation

Scroll below to read the Press Release on the Status of the SVTP infrastructure following flooding at Kapichira Dam

Cyclone Ana has affected the multi-billion Kwacha Shire Valley Transformation Program (SVTP) in Chikwawa district.

Speaking in an interview yesterday, SVTP engineer Martin Chizalema said the roads to the site where they are constructing intake are impassable due to the washed away of Mwambezi Bridge and some parts of the road along Chikwawa โ€“ Kapichira including the damage to Majete road compelled them to use drones for preliminary damage assessments.

Chizalema said apart from using the drones, engineers from the project, the contractor, and the consulting engineer KRC walked to the site to make a physical assessment.  The assessment is ongoing and recovery measures are being discussed to ensure resumption of works.

He said โ€œThe flooding that took place at Kapichira Dam affected our infrastructure.  What happened was that the excess water that was coming through the Shire River completely washed away the dyke which is supposed to train the river course for the Shire River.  Because of the washing away of the dyke, the flow went straight to our intake structure, because of this the cofferdam which was supposed to protect the construction works at the intake was also washed away.  As a result, one of the wing walls which has just been constructed was affected and this wing wall collapsed because of the excess sedimentation that was carried by the water.โ€

โ€œI would like to assure the nation that the intake foundation is intact although thereโ€™s some damage to the right-wing wall.  the siphon works were affected because they were shifted as the overflowing river diverted, it pushed water through the siphon and this caused the siphon to shift.  There will need as we resume works to re-align the siphon.โ€

โ€œThe Main canal which is almost completed is intact with very minimal effects, the flume has not been affected, two bridges along the canal are intact and crosses have not been affected,โ€ he said.

The intake foundation following the floods
The remaining wing on the intake foundation
Part of damaged Siphon 1

The engineer said the project team met with officials from EGENCO, the contractor, and the consultant to map a way forward in terms of recovery.  The first thing agreed is to repair the roads to allow for access to the Dam the repair the Kapichira Dam.

The first phase of the project covers 52 kilometers from the intake at Kapichira Dam to Lengwe in Chikwawa district and it is expected to be completed by December 2023. The intake plus 6 kilometers of the main canal is being constructed by Conduril Egenharia while Sinohydro will construct main canals 1   and 2 for a distance of 46 kilometers.

The first phase of SVTP is being funded by the World Bank, Africa Development Bank (ADB), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), and the Malawi Government to the tune of $223 US million.

The 43, 370 hectares will likely benefit about 223, 000 farmers in the twin districts of Shire Valley of Chikwawa and Nsanje once completed.