The government has issued a warning over a possible overflow of Masinga dam in the coming days as heavy rains continue.
Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir said the country’s biggest dam will burst its banks in less than a week, exacerbating the situation in Tana River County, which has suffered the effects of flooding.
“With the recent heavy rains, our hydroelectric dams, particularly Masinga, are receiving some substantial inflows. Masinga Dam is currently at 1,047.51 meters above sea level (mASL), against a maximum level of 1,056mASL. We still have about nine meters to reach maximum capacity for Masinga” he said.
The CS who Friday conducted an inspection tour of KenGen seven Forks dams to assess the water levels inflows following the recent heavy rains urged Kenyans living downstream of River Tana to move immediately.
CS @davis_chirchir together with PS Energy @Alexkwachira, @KenGenMDandCEO, and Garissa Town MP Hon. Dekow Barrow, today conducted an inspection tour of @KenGenKenya's #7Forks dams to assess the water levels inflows following the recent heavy rains. pic.twitter.com/OAlddKxRZv
— Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (@EnergyMinK) November 24, 2023
“This means that we expect it will reach the maximum levels over the weekend or early next week should the rains persist. We, therefore, call on those living downstream to be on high alert and exercise caution and further urge those close to the river to consider moving to safer grounds to avert loss of life and minimize destruction of property” he cautioned.
The dam feeds four other dams downstream which are almost full.
The high-water inflows particularly being experienced in Kamburu dam which other than River Tana inflows also receives water from the Thiba River and is currently at 1,005.82 meters above sea level against a maximum capacity of 1,006.50.
The Elnino rains expected to continue in the month of December and the first quarter of 2024 have already displaced thousands of residents in Garissa and Tana River counties.
Some of the worst affected counties include Mombasa, Garissa, Tana River, Makueni, Marsabit, Kilifi, Kwale, Meru, Isiolo, Turkana, Samburu, Wajir, Homa Bay, and Busia.
According to Keny Red Cross, the floods have killed at least 71 people and displaced more than 150,000, a death toll that is feared to go up in the wake of another tragedy in Makueni Thursday night where seven people were swept away as they attempted to cross a swollen river.
Three bodies have been recovered as the search and rescue operation continues.
Several key roads have been cut off leaving passengers stranded.
Hola-Garissa Road…El nino…. pic.twitter.com/YKP3XFPzuo
— Ahmednasir Abdullahi SC (@ahmednasirlaw) November 24, 2023
Current situation at Mtondia along Malindi, Kilifi Mombasa main highway. Passengers from most parts of North Coast including Malindi town cannot access Kilifi town and Mombasa by road. pic.twitter.com/6rNeqt6LJb
— Kenya Red Cross (@KenyaRedCross) November 25, 2023