The National Environmental Management Council (Nemc) is working on a study to determine the impact of increased water levels at hydropower dams in the country.
“We are at work on it – and it will be ready within ten days,” Nemc director general Samuel Gwamaka said.
The study follows a directive by the minister of State in the Vice President’s Office (Union and Environment), Mr Mussa Azzan, who directed Nemc and the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) at the weekend to conduct the study.
Mr Azzan said this during a joint tour with his Energy ministry counterpart, Dr Medard Kalemani.
The tour sought to inspect the overflowing Kidatu Dam across the Great Ruaha River in Morogoro Regionwhich has led to flooding the surrounding areas.
“It is important to conduct impact assessment caused by overflowing of the dam, and the extent to which the dam itself might have been affected by soil erosion,” he said.
The dam may have been affected by mud accummulation, and releasing the excess water could be a wrong decision that adversely affects the dam’s capacity to generate power.
“The Rufiji Dam (Nyerere)Hydropower project depends on the availability of adequate water from various sources. Therefore, we need a proper assessment to ensure that there’s enough water to operate the project,” he said.
For his part, Dr Kalemani said his ministry already formed a task force to conduct impact assessment aimed at ensuring that the Rufiji dam is adequately supplied for smooth undertaking of the megahydro power plant projected to generate up to 2,115 megawatts.
“The volume of water needed at the Rufiji Dam is 32 million cubic metres. Thus, it’s important that water sources are protected to ensure adequate commissioning,” he said.
Morogoro regional commissioner Loata Sanare said regional authorities were educating people on the importance of conserving water sources, and discourage settlements near water sources and along river banks to avoing being flooded out by heavy rains.