Massingir Dam

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Massingir Dam
Massingir Dam is located in Mozambique
Massingir Dam
Location of Massingir Dam
Official name Barragem de Massingir
Location Massingir District, Gaza, Mozambique
Coordinates 23°52′45″S 32°8′40″E / 23.87917°S 32.14444°E / -23.87917; 32.14444Coordinates: 23°52′45″S 32°8′40″E / 23.87917°S 32.14444°E / -23.87917; 32.14444
Construction began 1971
Opening date 2006
Dam and spillways
Impounds Rio dos Elefantes
Height 46 m (151 ft)
Creates Massingir Lake
Total capacity 2.88 km3 (1 cu mi)
Surface area 150 km2 (58 sq mi)
NASA picture of the Massingir Dam showing also the confluence of the Shingwedzi River and the Rio dos Elefantes

Massingir Dam is a dam on the Rio dos Elefantes (Olifants or Lepelle), Gaza Province, Mozambique. It is named after the town of Massingir, in Massingir District. The Shingwedzi River flows close to the northeastern side of the reservoir and joins the Rio dos Elefantes about 12 km downstream from the dam wall.[1]


By 1975, before the dam's completion, Mozambique gained independence and construction came to a halt. Shortly thereafter the FRELIMO government restarted the project, but by the early 1980s anti-government RENAMO guerrilla activity hampered the completion of the dam. RENAMO insurgents occupied most the area around Massingir and terrorized the local population, mostly humble farmers. Since the Mozambican government practically lost control of the territory in Massingir District, work at the dam site could not be completed.[2]

Following the neoliberal reform in Mozambique, rehabilitation work at the Massingir Dam took off in 1988.[3] Finally the work of raising the height of the dam wall and the installation of the sluice gates was completed in 2006.

The Massingir Dam is located within Limpopo National Park, forming part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. The area is an important breeding ground for the Nile Crocodile and there was concern at the Kruger National Park regarding the flooding of the Olifants River Gorge.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shingwedzi River why is it the most polluted river in the KNP?
  2. ^ Christina Folke Ax, Niels Brimnes, Niklas Thode Jensen & Karen Oslund, Cultivating the Colonies: Colonial States and Their Environmental Legacies, Aug 2011, ISBN 978-0896802827
  3. ^ Massingir Dam Emergency Rehabilitation Project
  4. ^ Massingir Dam & Flooding of Olifants Gorge

External links[edit]