23 May 2018

Kenya: Ndakaini Water Levels Rise to 67% After Aberdares Rainfall

Photo: Peter Warutumo/Daily Nation
A trailer is stuck in River Kawalase after being swept away downstream on May 24, 2018.

Nairobi — Water levels at Ndakaini Dam are currently at 67 per cent, a drastic increase over the past few weeks.

Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company Acting Managing Director Nahashon Muguna attributed this to increased rainfall amounts at the water catchment areas in the Aberdares.

"We expect that the levels are going to continue rising within the next few days and increase the volume of the dam," Muguna told Capital FM News on Wednesday morning.

In a week's time, they expect the water levels to be at 80 per cent.

The Kenya Meteorologists Department latest statistics indicate Murang'a County, where Ndakaini Dam is located, has received the highest rainfall amounts since March this year.

Gatare Forest station, a water catchment area for the 70 million cubic metres dam, and a lifeline for Nairobi City has received 100 mm.

Here is the rain distribution in the county;

Iyego 151.7mm, Tuthu 104.2mm, Gatare Forest station (Ndakaini Water Catchment area) 100mm, Karurumo 96mm Ndakaini 59.9mm, Kangema 55.4mm.

This has resulted to landslides in some areas.

Early this month, the Government formed a task force to establish the reasons for low water levels at the Dam, being the largest source of water for Nairobi, despite persistent heavy rains.

The task force is supposed to look into all issues surrounding the management of the dam that has been a major cause of concern.

Ndakaini dam is meant to augment river flow since Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company draw most of the water for Nairobi from River Chania, whose supply is supplemented by Ndakaini in the dry season.

When it is raining, Chania River can provide 440,000 cubic metres of water per day, which is treated at Ngethu Plant.

But even with a full Ndakaini, at 70 million cubic metres, ration will continue since the current treatment plant does not have enough capacity.

Nairobi needs more than 700,000 cubic metres of water on a daily basis but the Ngethu water treatment plant has a capacity of slightly above 400,000 cubic metres.

And according to authorities, the demand grows with 200,000 cubic metres every year.

At full capacity, Ndakaini Dam can only supply 550,000 cubic metres but only 400,000 cubic metres is supplied to Nairobi because of the capacity issues at the treatment plant.

Water from the dam is usually conveyed through a system of tunnels running from the dam, tapping Kiama River and Kimakia River and diverting the flows to Chania River at the Mwagu Outfall.

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