Zambia: Dam Spillage in Mumbwa Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), DREF Operation n° MDRZM013


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

From 22 to 26 December 2020, heavy rainfall leading to severe flooding affected parts of Zambia. The heavy rainfall on the 26 December 2020 resulted in the bursting of Kandesha Dam that led to flooding in Munengo, Kambobe, Katala, and Chiloweni communities of Mapona ward in Mumbwa district of Central province. The flood affected 500 households that need humanitarian assistance, amongst which 261 houses damaged and 169 households displaced.

The affected households are mainly found along the Chibila stream that feeds into the Kafue River. To date, 3 people have been identified as missing of which 2 have now been reported dead. The Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) recorded a total of 169 households that were evacuated to St Edmond's Primary School.

Kandesha dam is the main commercial reservoir for Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company for the partial supply of water to Mumbwa Township. The population of the township is estimated at 19,000 people of which 500 households are affected (3,000 people). The source of the water supply for this community are the seven boreholes which supply 1,000 cubic litres of water to residents.

The interruption of the supply from the collapsed dam implies that there is a serious shortfall of about 3,000 cubic liters per day to meet the consumption demand for the township. Communities have thus resorted to consuming water that is not safe for consumption from shallow wells that have been contaminated by the flooding. Most of the latrines in the area have collapsed and open defaecation is being practiced by those displaced as well as those households affected. The dam also supports the small-scale farmers for agricultural purposes besides supplying safe water. Four bridges are completely damaged namely: Kaulweulwe, Chibuluma, Katuta, Chisaka which connect the affected communities to the central business district. However, there are additional four bridges which are partially damaged namely and Nachibila, Munengo, Kapepe, and Lutale which also connect the affected areas to the central business district.

The weather forecast for the next 7 days (2 to 8 January) shows that there is going to be heavy rains in most districts of Zambia including Mumbwa District. The rainfall will pose a threat to the already affected population downstream of Kandesha dam. This may result in more households being affected and needs to the affected population increased. However, shelter, water, and sanitation, and food elements are among the most urgent needs to attend to people affected by the floods and the heavy rains. Zambia Red Cross Society (ZRCS) is coordinating with DMMU in the response efforts and will complement the efforts already done by the Government.