Here are top five largest dams in Africa

Some of the world’s largest and biggest dams that cost several millions of dollars are found in Africa.

However, some of the world’s largest and biggest dams that cost several millions of dollars are found in Africa.

The dams were primarily built for economic value and are classified regarding the capacity the water their reservoirs can hold, the height, length and width of the dam.

With a massive generating capacity of 22.5 GW, the Three Gorges Dam, located at Yangtze River, China is the biggest hydro dam in the world.

Here is a brief look at top five largest dams in Africa.

#5. Gibe III Dam

Located across the Omo River, Ethiopia, Gibe III is the fifth largest dam in Africa.

It produces 1,870 MW in total and is, with a height of 243 meters,

The dam’s construction began in 2007 and was completed in 2016.

#4. Cahora Bassa Dam

The Cahora Bassa is one of the world’s biggest dams and is in Mozambique.

The dam has a capacity of 2075 megawatts.

#3. The Aswan High Dam

The Aswan High Dam in Egypt is one of the largest African dams and took eleven years to build at a cost of about $1 billion.

Some 57 million cubic yards of earth and rock were used to build the dam, which has a mass 16 times that of the Great Pyramid at Giza.

The dam which opened in 1971 holds back 169 square kilometers of a lake called Lake Nasser, the turbines produce 2,100 MW.

The dam, 364 feet (111 metres) high, with a crest length of 12,562 feet (3,830 metres) and a volume of 57,940,000 cubic yards (44,300,000 cubic metres), impounds a reservoir, Lake Nasser that has a gross capacity of 5.97 trillion cubic feet (169 billion cubic metres).

#2. Katse Arch Dam

Katse Arch Dam located on the Malibamat’so River in the Kingdom of Lesotho is the second largest dam in Africa.

The concrete dam shaped like an arch is 185 meters high and 710 meters long.

The construction of the dam ended in 1996 and the reservoir was filled with water by 1997.

Due to the position and design of the intake tower, there is a certain volume of water in the reservoir that cannot be accessed via the transfer tunnels. This dead storage is approximately 430 million m3 with the result that the effective live storage behind Katse Dam is reduced from the total storage capacity of 1 950 million m3 to 1520 million m3.

#1. Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is Ethiopians most massive project to date and at a cost of US $6.4bn have the distinction of being Africa’s largest dam generating a whopping 6000MW of electrical energy.

On completion the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam which is located on the Blue Nile and whose construction begun in 2011, will be the largest dam in Africa: 1,800m long, 155m high and with a total volume of 74,000 million m³.

Notable mention…

Kariba Dam

The Kariba Dam is the largest man-made reservoir in the world. At a height of 128m and with a crest length of 617m, the dam has the capacity of holding 181 billion cubic meters of water.


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