Botswana Sets Timeline For Chobe Zambezi Water Transfer Project

The scheme involves the construction of 1,500km of pipeline.

By Sneha A on
14th August 2023

The government of Botswana is looking to move ahead with the Chobe Zambezi water transfer scheme, with the aim of tapping into the water resources allocated to it from the Chobe-Zambezi river. 

The country’s Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) will be the principal offtaker and is planning to implement the project as a public-private partnership (PPP), using a design-build-finance-operate-transfer (DBFOT) contract. 

A market sounding notice was issued in late July.

The proposed system will transfer 495 million cubic metres a year of water from the Chobe-Zambezi river through 1,500km of pipeline, running from the collection point in the town of Kazungula in Zambia to Mmamashia in Botswana, with two spur lines towards Maun in the northwest and Orapa in the central district. 

Project information memorandum for Chobe Zambezi water transfer scheme
Project information memorandum for Chobe Zambezi water transfer scheme
Source: WUC


The African Development Bank, which is backing the scheme, says the project will support the expansion of the agriculture and agro-industrial sector in Botswana. 

The WUC plans to issue a request for proposals (RFP) later this year and select the concessionaire in 2024. Financial close is slated for 2025, followed by the start of construction. Commercial operation is expected in January 2027. 

The Chobe Zambezi water transfer scheme has been in the planning stages since 2010, when the government first commissioned a feasibility study.

Top photo: Zambezi river (© Outdoorsman |

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