Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)

Muchinga Hydropower Project, Zambia

The Muchinga Power Company Limited (MPC) is proposing to develop a hydropower plant (HPP) 6 km of the confluence of Lunsemfwa and Mkushi Rivers. The proposed Muchinga Hydropower Plant will be located within the Mkushi and Kapiri Mposhi Districts in the Central Province of Zambia, and approximately 80 km to the south-east of Kabwe town. The HPP will fall within three Chiefdoms, namely Mukonchi and Kenyanshye (both upstream) and Chembe (downstream).

Project Description

The Muchinga HPP is proposed in the 25km stretch of river starting from the existing Lunsemfwa diversion weir. The Lunsemfwa River flows, regulated by the upstream Mita Hills dam, will be transferred to the Mkushi Reservoir through a transfer tunnel, adding to the volume of water being drained from the Mkushi basin.

The new Mkushi dam is to be located on the Mkushi River, approximately six kilometers upstream of the confluence of the Mkushi and Lunsemfwa River, thus avoiding the Wonder Gorge which is situated within close proximity to this confluence.

The flows from the Mkushi dam will then be transferred to a further Headrace Tunnel. At the end of the Headrace Tunnel, water is transferred into penstocks situated in a Powerhouse. The powerhouse is located in on the eastern bank of the Lunsemfwa River at the toe of the Muchinga escarpment. The installed capacity of the Muchinga HPP will be between 240-330MW.

MPC has commissioned the Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Southern Africa to undertake Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in order to comply with Environmental Management Act (EMA) (Act 12 of 2011) of Zambia. Additionally, the ESIA will be in compliance with international good practices and standards (e.g., World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Equator Principles, International Hydropower Association (IHA), and World Commission on Dams (WCD).

There are two phases to the ESIA, namely:

  • Phase 1 - Scoping; and
  • Phase 2 - Baseline, Impact Assessment and framework Social and Environmental Management Plan (SEMP).

The ESIA will provide decision-makers and stakeholders with a comprehensive evaluation of the impacts of the proposed Muchinga HPP on the natural and human environments, taking into account their local, regional, national and international importance. This has been done through a combination of scientific studies and stakeholder consultation. The ESIA has involved extensive public participation, especially amongst the directly affected communities in the project area that will enable the relevant government agencies, parastatals, NGOs, the interested public in Zambia, the opportunity to voice their concerns, opinions and ideas with respect to the project. The ESIA will be submitted to the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) for their consideration.

Purpose of this web-site

The purpose of this web-site is to keep stakeholders updated on the Muchinga HPP ESIA progress; to allow stakeholders to access information on the ESIA process; and to provide the contact details of the ESIA project management team.



Scoping Report

Annexure A : CV's

Annexure B: Consultation Materials

Comment and Registration

Should you wish to register as a stakeholder, provide comment on the proposed project, raise queries, or request further information please contact:

Mr Jacob Chishiba
Tel: (260)967758581
Mobile: (260)977758591
Email: [email protected]