Waterfall on the South Rukuru River downstream of the planned Fufu dam | Photo: Jørn Stave, Multiconsult

Fufu Hydropower Project in Malawi

Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

The Government of Malawi, with support from the World Bank, is planning to build a hydropower plant on the South Rukuru and North Rumphi rivers. The project is located in Rumphi district in the north of the country and both rivers empty into Lake Malawi. The feasibility design includes a 116 m high dam in the South Rukuru valley just upstream of two major waterfalls. The reservoir drawdown zone will be 40 m and the inundation zone will extend 12 km upstream of the dam. Water from the North Rumphi will be transferred to the Fufu reservoir via a 10 km long tunnel. A headrace tunnel of about 5 km will convey the combined flow from both rivers to a power station with 260 MW installed capacity. The turbine discharge will be returned to the South Rukuru River before it empties into Lake Malawi.

Scope of work

Multiconsult prepared the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in compliance with national requirements and World Bank safeguard policies. We worked closely with the design consultant to develop a “bankable” project resulting in an improved environmental flow regime, reduced drawdown zone and a re-aeration weir in the tailrace canal. The ESIA study included land cover / land use mapping, socio-economic surveys, biodiversity studies and resettlement planning. An environmental and social management programme was developed to guide the implementation of impact mitigation measures.

Our services

  • Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
  • Preliminary Resettlement Plan