Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has issued a warning to residents living in areas close to Masinga Dam to move to safer grounds stating that the dam may break by Sunday, December 8.
A report published by Capital FM indicated that the government issued the warning after water levels at the country's largest hydropower generating dam, rose rapidly following heavy downpour in the area.
“Residents living near Masinga dam urged to move to higher grounds; CS Chelugui warns it may break banks by Sunday,” read the update published on Twitter.
In an earlier update published by the Daily Nation on November 27, the Water Resources Authority (WRMA) chief executive officer, Mohamed Shurie, gave another warning indicating that the high capacity dam was full and could overflow any time.
“The situation is [dire]. We are giving a warning for people to vacate,”
“We have a blessing and a disaster. Two months ago we witnessed a drought but it is currently flooding. In the next several months, we will once again experience a drought," Shurie is quoted by the Daily Nation.
WRMA further warned Kenyans who live along the banks of river Tana in Garissa, Hola, and Garsen urging them to move to higher ground in a bid to ensure they were safe from the risk of high water levels.
According to the Kenya Meteorological Department, among the counties that have been severely affected include Marsabit, Wajir, Mandera, Tana River, Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kitui, Garissa, Muranga, Busia, Meru, Kajiado, Nandi, Kwale and West Pokot, due to heavy rains and the resultant flooding.
Currently, the velocity of the water in the River Tana is estimated to have increased to 336 cubic meters per second, compared to 30-100 cubic meters initially.
Speaking to Citizen TV on December 3, government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna revealed that the death toll following flooding in several parts of the country reached 132 people.
“Approximately 330,000 people have been affected by the rains that continue to pound various parts of the country…17,000 have also been displaced,” he remarked.
The government spokesman further disclosed that an unknown number of Kenyans had been either marooned or cut off by floods in different areas with over 11,000 livestock swept away.
However, he noted that the government has been working with relevant government agencies including the Kenya Red Cross and the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to alleviate the situation.
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