Concern over rising lake waters with the onset of rainy season

The government says it has put in place mechanisms to alleviate the suffering of those whose social economic activities have been disrupted by rising lake waters.

Government spokesperson Colonel (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna says the government remains concerned with the growing phenomenon of the rising water levels of lakes, rivers and dams especially in the Rift Valley and Victoria Basin.

According to Oguna, 400 people have died over floods related incidents across the country since March with a further 6 people losing their lives due to stress and depression following destruction of their property by water overflows.

The natural calamities   have also seen an estimated 5,000 homesteads destroyed and owners displaced.

Water levels at Turkwell Dam have been rising steadily following the on-going above normal rainfall in its catchment areas around Mt Elgon. Currently, the water level has risen to a record 1140 feet which is 9.0m higher than ever reached.

The rising water levels means that only 1.60 meters is left before it spills over into the exit canals and the spill-ways. Solai Dam is also threatening to overflow

In 2010, Lake Nakuru was 40 square kilometres and has now expanded to 60 square kilometres. The lake has swallowed a section of the northern route and flooded a large part of the acacia forest to the south with the main gate to Lake Nakuru completely submerged.

Experts attribute the rising lake waters to heavy rainfall experienced in parts of the country since 2019 which have caused an increase in water volumes getting into the lakes, dams and rivers thereby causing overflows into farms and homesteads.

They have also blamed increased siltation which they say has reduced the volume capacity of various lakes. The lakes most affected by this phenomenon include Naivasha, Bogoria, Baringo, Nakuru, Elementaita, Magadi, Victoria, Turkana, Logipi and Olobollosat.

Experts have established that a phenomenon of this kind was last witnessed in the country in 1963.


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