This post contains information about the largest dams in Africa and we will be looking at six of them. A dam is a barrier constructed to hold back water and raise its levels, forming a reservoir, used to generate electricity or as a water supply. A dam can also be natural but most are man-made and in Africa, we have some of the biggest man-made dams around. While some dams are constructed to store up water for use, others are built to generate hydroelectricity.
Top 6 Largest Dams in Africa
1. Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Ethiopia)
This is the largest dam in Africa. It was previously known as the millennium Dam and it is still under construction. The construction is set to be completed in mid-2017. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam occupies a large area along the Blue Nile River. When completed, it will go a long way to serving the Ethiopian people in terms of aiding their irrigation and providing hydroelectric power.
2. Katse Arch Dam (Lesotho)
This is the second largest dam in Africa and it was completed in 1996 to supply water to Lesotho citizens and generate power. The dam is expected to be rehabilitated as there are added phases planned to increase the capacity of water in the reservoir.
3. Aswan Dam (Egypt)
This dam was completely built in 1970. It is also known as the Aswan High Dam and it cost a whopping $1 billion to build. It plays a multipurpose role as it lends to Egypt’s irrigation system, controls water from severe rainfall and also helps to generate electricity to Egypt.
4. Tekeze Dam (Ethiopia)
This dam was built at the cost of $365 million and it stands along one of the tributaries of the River Nile. It was built to generate much needed electricity for the Ethiopian people.
5. Akosombo Dam (Ghana)
This dam was built in the 1960s to provide hydroelectric power for Ghana. It cost $250 million to build the Akosombo dam. It is important to note that the Akosombo dam is responsible for the creation of the Lake Volta which is the largest man-made lake in the whole world based on surface area and the third largest based on volume.
6. Kariba Dam (Zambia and Zimbabwe)
This dam was built in the 1950s and it is located in the River basin of the Zambezi, and it is shared between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The dam at the Zimbabwe end attracts tourists due to it being the home of some interesting wildlife species. The current state of the dam is in bad condition and needs an upgrade as soon as possible.