The World Bank and the Swedish government Wednesday availed Harare with $100 million for the rehabilitation of the cracked Kariba Dam Wall.
The World Bank contributed $75 million while the Swedish government provided an extra $25 million to meet part of the costs required to refurbish the Kariba Dam wall in Mashonaland West province.
This was announced by the World Bank Director for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, Kundhavi Kadiresan, following a meeting with Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.
As the government commended the World Bank and the Swedish government for the loan, Chinamasa said the refurbishment exercise requires at least $290 million to complete.
Authorities say wildlife and an estimated four million people living along the shores of the Zambezi in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and some parts of Mozambique are at risk of flooding if the Kariba Dam wall collapses.
Zimbabwe and Zambia also generate hydro-electric power from the Kariba Dam.
Following the provision of the loan by the World Bank and the Swedish government, Chinamasa said Harare is expected to engage the Bretton Woods institute early next year with a view to request institution to cancel its arrears.
Zimbabwe has a foreign debt overhang of over $8 billion which it has failed to service for years saying its coffers are empty.
In other news, MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday said there is nothing to celebrate this festive season for the ordinary person as the country’s economic situation continues to worsen.
The former prime minister told a news conference that he is mobilizing his party’s supporters and ordinary Zimbabweans to engage in mass action after the festive season to force President Mugabe’s government to address the economic problems facing the nation.
Mr. Tsvangirai added that what is also needed to resolve the socio-economic crisis in Zimbabwe, is for the country to hold fresh polls that he says should be held after key democratic reforms have been implemented to avoid electoral disputes and restore democracy and legitimacy.