Residents asked to move as Masinga Dam nears overflow
Kenyans living downstream River Tana have been directed to vacate immediately as Masinga Dam is likely to overflow.
Water Resources Authority Chief Executive Officer, Mohamed Shurie, warned that the hydro-electric dam is full and may overflow in the in the next one to two days.
“The situation is [dire]. We are giving a warning for people to vacate,” Mr Shurie said in Nairobi on Wednesday.
He warned Kenyans who live along the banks of the river in Garissa, Hola and Garsen in Tana River to move to higher ground.
Currently, the velocity of the water in the river has increased to 336 cubic meters per second, compared to 30-100 cubic meters initially.
Heavy rains will increase the volume of water in the river as well as the dam.
Generally, all Kenyans living along rivers and in riparian areas have been asked to move to higher ground.
“People need to be vigilant. All Kenyans living in riparian areas [should] go to higher ground,” Mr Shurie said.
The WRA also warned people living along Ewaso River in Iresaboru, Isiolo County, and Mathioya River, areas which it described as high risk.
Residents of GreenPark Estate along Stone Athi, Seefar Estate and all buildings along the Nairobi Dam embankment and Kiserian Dam in Kajiado County are also at risk, the authority said.
In its latest five-day weather forecast, the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD said it will continue raining in different parts of the country from Wednesday until December 1.
The WRAs warning comes as the country comes to terms with the loss of tens of lives in mudslides and landslides in West Pokot County.
Thousands of people have been displaced in Marsabit, Wajir, Mandera, Tana River, Turkana, Elgeiyo Marakwet, Kitui, Meru, Kajiado, Nandi, Kwale, Garissa, Muranga, Busia, and now West Pokot, due to heavy rains and the resultant flooding.
“We have a blessing and a disaster. Tw months ago we witnessed a drought but it is currently flooding. In the next several months, we will once again experience a drought,” Mr Shurie said during WRA’s deliberation and validation workshop for the 2018-2022 strategic plan.
He noted that the Water ministry is constructing dams and pans to hold the floodwaters.