As the spectre of an overflowing disaster looms over Machakos County, Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum, Davis Chirchir, issued a stark warning on Saturday about the escalating water levels in the Kamburu Dam.
The dam, with a maximum capacity of 1,006.50 meters, is perilously close to spilling over, with levels reaching 1,005.82 meters above sea level as of the latest update.
Chirchir, addressing the gravity of the situation, expressed that the water levels in Kamburu Dam have been surging at an alarming rate of 0.7 meters per day.
The cause, he explained, is the substantial rainfall witnessed in the region over recent weeks.
“We have witnessed a big jump this week at Kamburu, and we expect that we will be reaching the maximum levels either over the weekend or early next week should the water inflows remain as they are now,” read a statement from Kawi House.
The Cabinet Secretary urged residents living downstream to relocate to higher ground promptly to mitigate potential dangers posed by the imminent overflow.
Chirchir also cast a foreboding eye on Masinga Dam, situated in the same county, predicting that it could fill up within a week if the current rate of rising water levels persists.
"They are now rising at about 0.7 of a metre every day, and that means that a dam like Masinga can take another seven days to fill. So, if these rains continue in seven days, we will see some spillage," he cautioned.
The government, cognizant of the impending threat, assured the public on Saturday that it has implemented concrete short and long-term measures to address the impacts of the ongoing El-Nino rains.
President William Ruto, speaking after an emergency meeting on El-Nino, emphasized the need for collaboration between the Ministry of Energy and counties to ensure timely information dissemination and relocation of citizens from downstream areas.
“We are informed that within the next week, some of our dams will be full, therefore we need that information to be given to Kenyans so that if there will need to relocate some citizens downstream, that should happen ahead of time,” Ruto stated, expressing concern over the loss of 70 lives in flood-related incidents and the displacement of 36,160 households.
As the nation grapples with the impending danger, the government emphasizes the crucial role of early warnings and citizen relocation to avert potential disasters associated with the overflow of dams in the wake of the relentless El-Nino rains.