BULAWAYO MEMORIES

Other centres - Kariba Dam by Impresit of Italy

The Kariba Dam is a double curvature concrete arch dam in the Kariba Gorge of the Zambezi river basin between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The dam stands 128 metres (420 ft) tall and 579 metres (1,900 ft) long. The dam forms Lake Kariba, which extends for 280 kilometres (170 mi) and holds 185 cubic kilometres (150,000,000 acre ft) of water.

Construction
The double curvature concrete arch dam was designed by Coyne et Bellier and constructed between 1955 and 1959 by Impresit of Italy at a cost of $135,000,000 for the first stage with only the Kariba South power cavern. Final construction and the addition of the Kariba North Power cavern by Mitchell Construction was not completed until 1977 due to largely political problems for a total cost of $480,000,000. During construction, 86 men lost their lives.



The pre-colonial population of the area were Tonga. The town was established to house workers who were constructing the dam in the mid to late 1950s and was constructed in 1959 by the contractor Costain. After the completion of the dam wall and the power station (Kariba South Power Station) quite a few impressive monuments were built in the early 1960s i.e the Roman Catholic church located at the Kariba Heights (St Barbara) and next to it the Pat McClean Theatre named after Patricia McClean a well known wealthy resident of Kariba Heights.