Historic sites: ninth in The Rep series

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A historic site (not a building) this time in The Rep series is the Bonkolo dam situated just outside Komani.

Originally known as the Bongolo dam, the dam became necessary by 1900 when the town had shown significant growth and the Berry Dam was no longer sufficient.

The Bonkolo Dam Picture: FILE

Civil engineer J.B. Gellatly spent a lot of money to obtain the necessary equipment with the total cost of equipment to build the dam wall set at 3 191 pounds.

By 1908, the wall was completed and raised in 1934 with the capacity at 7 171 million litres. The Bonkolo Dam was the first in the country to boast a spillway augmented by the incorporation of 18 syphons.

When severe drought hit, it became evident in the mid 1930s that there were limitations to the dam’s catchment. A scheme was recommended to draw water from the Kei River in the Glen Grey district and pumping it towards the dam.  The Glen Grey scheme was initially accepted in principle by the Town Council but later rejected. – Information from Tell Me of Komani, Alan Greaves.

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