Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

for the proposed Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Scheme

The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) is a statutory body and was established in 1987.  It is jointly and equally owned by the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe.  It is responsible for overseeing the development of the Zambezi River, which runs between the two countries (and forms a common border).  As part of this mandate, the ZRA has been mandated by the Governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe to develop the Batoka Hydro Electric Scheme (BHES). 

The ZRA has appointed Environmental Resources Management (ERM) and its local partners (Kaizen Consulting International in Zambia and Black Crystal in Zimbabwe) as the Consultants to undertake an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the proposed BHES.  
Investment in energy is a prerequisite to achieving commercial and industrial development in Zambia and Zimbabwe. The use of solar power is favourable in providing rural and urban areas with access to power; however, if both countries are to achieve those targets and goals detailed in its Vision 2030 and Vision 2040 respectively, and other complimentary plans, these countries will require private sector investment in energy technology that is efficient, sustainable and reliable. The generation of energy through hydropower is a proven technology that is sustainable and which is actively being promoted at a national level in both Zambia and Zimbabwe. With a vast hydropower energy potential, hydropower is considered the most feasible and reasonable electrification option for both countries.

Preliminary investigations, geographical exploration and previous environmental assessments have concluded that the Batoka project with a proposed installed capacity of 1600 MW is the least cost solution and has the least adverse environmental impacts. The site for the proposed scheme has been chosen as the most viable compared to the other sites investigated and has been ranked as the first major hydro-electric development on the  Zambezi River since the construction of the Kariba Dam (IUCN, 1992).

The Batoka HES project will contribute significantly to the electricity supply of
both Zambia and Zimbabwe, and will also serve to distribute power to southern African countries, thanks to several planned projects under the coordination of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) aimed at increasing
transfer limits through boundary connections.

Batoka Gorge ESIA
The ESIA will provide decision-makers and stakeholders with a comprehensive evaluation of the impacts of the proposed Batoka Gorge HES on the natural and human environments, taking into account their local, regional, national and international importance. This will be done through a combination of scientific studies and stakeholder consultation. The ESIA will involve extensive public participation to enable communities, relevant government agencies, NGOs and the interested public in Zimbabwe and Zambia the opportunity to voice their concerns, opinions and ideas with respect to the project.
In parallel with the ESIA, an engineering feasibility study is being undertaken by Studio Pietrangeli Consulting.  The ESIA and engineering teams are independent of each other, but both studies will collaborate closely so that the respective studies are coherent and consistent, thus enabling objective decision-making by the two Governments.
Purpose of this web-site
The purpose of this web-site is to keep stakeholders updated on the Batoka Gorge ESIA progress; to allow stakeholders to access information on the ESIA process; and to provide the contact details of the ESIA project management team.
Downloads Available
The following documents are currently available to be downloaded:

Background Information Document (BID) - provides information for stakeholders on the Batoka Gorge ESIA  (446Kb PDF)

Batoka Gorge Presentation for information sharing meetings (4Mb PDF)

Draft Scoping Report

Cover, sign off page, contents and Executive Summary (7Mb PDF)
Chapter 1 - Introduction (333Kb PDF)
Chapter 2 - Project Rationale (685Kb PDF)
Chapter 3 - Description of the Project Indicating the various project components (5Mb PDF)
Chapter 4 - Baseline Information (3Mb PDF)
Chapter 5 - Instritutional and Legislative Framework Development Policies and International Treaties and Guidelines (558Kb PDF)
Chapter 6 - Public Participation Process (256Kb PDF)
Chapter 7 - Determination of the Potential Impacts of the Proposed Project (2Mb PDF)
Chapter 8 - Analysis of Alternatives (155Kb PDF)
Chapter 9 - Proposed ESIA Study Plan (Terms of Reference) (850Kb PDF)
Chapter 10 - Expertise Required for the Study (84Kb PDF)
Annexure A - Stakeholder Engagement (792Kb PDF)
Annexure B - Comments and Responses Report (712Kb PDF)
Annexure C - Attendance Register (Part 1) (4Mb PDF)
Annexure C - Attendance Register (Part 2) (4Mb PDF)
Annexure C - Attendance Register (Part 3) (6Mb PDF)
Annexure C - Attendance Register (Part 4) (2Mb PDF)
Annexure C - Attendance Register (Part 5) (2Mb PDF)
Annexure D - Stakeholder Database (332Kb PDF)
Annexure E - Notification Material (4Mb PDF)
Annexure F - Notes from Key Stakeholder Discussion (332Kb PDF)
Annexure G - Grievance Mechanism (164Kb PDF)
Annexure H - Detailed CVs of ESIA Project Team (1Mb PDF)
Appendix B - Stakeholder Grievance Forms (42Kb PDF)
Appendix C - Grievance Significant Criteria (71Kb PDF)
References (62Kb PDF)

Contact Information

Black Crystal
Contact: The Socio-economist
Email: [email protected]
: +26(0) 377-287-6616
Address: 1 Fairbairn Drive, Mt Pleasant Harare, Zimbabwe

Kaizen Consulting International
Contact: Godfrey Chileshe
Email: [email protected], [email protected]
: +26(0) 977-758-591
Address: Suite 3, Floor 21st, Findeco House, Cairo Road, P.O. Box 33526, Lusaka, Zambia


Environmental Resources Management
Contact: Miana Capuano or Nadia Mol
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]
Phone: +44 (0) 20 3 206 5456, +27 (0) 21 681 5400