Government issues alert on heavy rainfall

The Government has alerted communities along the River Tana banks of a possible overflow of Kiambere Hydro-Electric Dam resulting in floods downstream.

The residents have been asked to move to safer places following the heavy rains expected to get the dam reach its peak level in the next few days.

The weatherman has forecast that more rains will be experienced in the dam’s catchment area in the coming days.

The Energy Cabinet Secretary, Charles Keter had on Tuesday disclosed that Masinga dam � the biggest in the series of hydro-electric power dams on the River Tana � will in the next four days overflow due to rising water levels.

The Water level at Masinga dam, he said, had risen from 1, 046.66m to 1, 055.53m from April to today against a full supply of 1, 056.5m.

The reservoir has 0.97m to go before it overflows, he said further confirming that Kiambere Dam was also overflowing and is currently at 700.10m against full supply of 700m above sea level.

Flanked by his Devolution and Water counterparts, Eugene Wamalwa and Simon Chelugui respectively, Keter said said Kamburu, Gitaru and Kindaruma Dams were also registering high levels.

He said it was expected to take only four days for the water to reach Garissa town and soon after the lower Tana Delta once Kiambere Dam overflows.

The CS added that this is the first time the dams are recording high water inflows since 2015.

Keter said they will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to provide prompt information on water inflows and levels with a view to facilitating proper management of the situation.

The CS however, said the rains were good for power generation and that the dams will take the country to December.

Over the years the dams have helped to regulate river flows and flooding downstream by temporarily storing the flood volume and releasing it later through the power plants.

Wamalwa said they were working with County Governments, Red Cross and other government agencies to ensure communities move to safer grounds.

Chelugei said in the next 10 days it will be difficult to control floods warning that this would pose a challenge in Hola, Garissa and Garsen areas, basically for those living within the riparian land along the Seven Forks Dams discharges.

He confirmed that mitigation and protection of the water points, boreholes and sewerage system affected within the next few days will have to be addressed.

Chelugei said the government was putting up 57 dams across the country of which 15 of them are already in progress and a few will be ready within the next month.

Source: Kenya News Agency