Dam management information system: a case of Kalomo district - Southern province Zambia

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Hantambo, Stanley
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The University of Zambia
Management Information Systems have proved to be an important component for delivering consistent and effective management of water reservoirs such as Dams. Many institutions around the world have developed management information systems to make information accessible to governments, stakeholders and users for decision making and planning purposes. In Zambia, the Department of Water Resources Development (DWRD) being the agency in charge of water resources infrastructure development such as dams, lacked a dam management information system. This was an overarching challenge to policy makers and practitioners to plan and make informed decisions. It was for this reason that a Dams Management Information System (DMIS) was developed. This study was aimed at developing an application for storing and retrieving the country’s dams and making collective dam information easily accessible to all stakeholders. The study focused on dams in Kalomo District, Southern Province because the district has the largest number of dams in the country. An applied research methodology was followed in this study. The resulting database was designed and developed following the analysis of existing data, user expectations and requirements. The interface consisting of dam portal contains primary information on dams which include dam architectural plans, title deeds reports on disasters, inspections, rehabilitation works, hydrological data, field inspections reports and construction details. The final results of the study showed a successful integration of MySQL database backend, MS-Access front-end and a Geographical Information System for desktop mapping; implementing thematic visualization for making inferences. The interaction between the application system and its users was evaluated in form of system’s ability to function. The functions were suitable, well structured, with applicable data on dams making the system more user friendly. Linkages of tools such as ArcGIS, QGIS, MySQL database and MS access proved to serve effectively in decision support for water managers. Keywords: Dam Information System, Management Information Systems, GIS, MySQL database
Dams management information systems--Zambia