Fresh Cracks Emerge At Nalubaale Dam

2812 Views Jinja, Uganda

In short
Nalubaale dam has developed fresh huge cracks that let water ooze through putting the lives of hundreds of residents at risk.

The Nalubaale dam has developed fresh huge cracks that lets lots of water through.

Nalubaale dam connects Jinja to Buikwe district, in eastern Uganda to the central parts of Uganda towards Kampala. 

Thozama Gangi, Eskom Chief Executive Officer says the cracks have been identified and will be worked on in the 2016/ 2017 financial after approval from Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).
 
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Nalubaale dam was built in 1954 by colonial government 62 years ago. However, despite major repairs recently in 2014, it has developed huge cracks causing worry that, it may give way anytime.
 
In 2010 the bridge had a life span of 20 years, but needed constant monitoring of cracks according to a report from a Canadian consultant. Eskom then set aside $20 million for repairs in a five year plan.

Moses Kayizi, a civil engineer with Uganda Electricity Generation Company limited (UEGCL) says the pressure caused from the high water level was reduced earlier this month after repairing Nalubaale dam sluice gates. He says although this can help but does not seal off the cracks, which need major repairs.

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Before the sluice gates were repaired, water would go through and this increased the levels of water up to 12.6 metres, creating more water to go through the cracks and expanding them due to water pressure exerted on the Nalubaale dam concrete walls.

Nalubaale dam hosts heavy traffic loaded with goods and passengers traveling to different parts of the country and is the only access route by road connecting eastern Uganda to central Uganda. This is also one reason why the numerous cracks develop easily over time because the dam is not given time to rest, with no alternative route.

The dam also generates 180 mega watts of hydro electricity that is used by Ugandans to date.

Dinah Nankombe, Busoga sub region UNRA station Engineer says the dam will be repaired, and plans are underway by the UNRA roads and bridges department.