15 May 2018

Kenya: Government Issues Alert on Masinga Dam Spillage

Photo: Capital FM
Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter says water levels at the Masinga Dam are now at 1055.53 meters compared to a full capacity of 1056.50 metres with little left before it overflows.

Nairobi — The government has issued an alert of spillage of the Masinga Dam as heavy rains continue.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter says water levels at the Masinga Dam are now at 1055.53 meters compared to a full capacity of 1056.50 meters, with little time left before it overflows.

He says this is the first time all the Seven Forks dams are recording high water inflows since 2015 which include Masinga, Kamburu, Gitaru, Kindaruma and Kiambere record significant increase in water levels.

Keter is urging residents living along the areas covering the Masinga and Kiambere Dams to move to safer grounds.

"In the event the water levels continue to rise, communities that live on the banks of River Tana, downstream of Kiambere Dam, are urged to take the necessary precaution, those who live in Garissa, Hola, Bura and Garsen should move to safer grounds," he added.

Once Kiambere Dam overflows, it is expected that it would take four days for the water to get to Garissa Town and soon after the lower Tana Delta.

The move comes even as 48 people were killed in Nakuru as Solai Dam burst its walls last week.

"KenGen will continue to monitor river flows and dam levels in line with the prudent water management at the dams," Keter said in the company of CSs Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution), Benjamin Chelugui (Water).

Meanwhile, the owner the Solai Dam now says heavy rainfall in Dundori forest resulted in the tragedy after it damaged its walls.

Through a statement, Solai Group Chairman Mansukh Patel stated that this caused massive soil erosion with high pressure water loaded with dead stumps logs and big boulders damaging the walls of the dam.

"On Wednesday, May 9th, we lost 47 precious lives to the Solai dam tragedy. We the Patel family of Solai and members of the Patel Farm management would like to express our deepest condolences," he stated.

The Senate Committee on National Security is calling for the immediate arrest of the Solai dam owner.

The lawmakers have taken issue with security agencies for what they have described as tolerance in the manner in which they have handled the situation.

Led by the Committee Chairperson, Yusuf Haji, the lawmakers now want criminal charges opened against Patel.

"It is sad that after a week the owner of the dam has not been apprehended and arraigned in court," said Haji during a press briefing at Parliament buildings.

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