Kindiki warns of possible flooding in Garissa, Tana River as Seven-Forks dams fill up

Kindiki issues flood alert as Masinga Dam spills over

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has warned that River Tana is likely to burst its banks and cause flooding in Garissa, Tana River and Lamu counties after the filling up of Seven-Forks hydro-electric dams.

The CS said the Seven-Forks Hydro-electric Power Dams were filled up as of Wednesday morning.

He confirmed that Masinga Dam, which is the first, largest and most consequential of the dams, was already spilling through "the managed structural spillways."

"In the likely event of further precipitation within the Tana River and River Thiba catchment areas in the coming days, River Tana is likely to burst its banks downstream leading to significant flooding in Garissa, the Tana Delta and Lamu Counties," warned the CS.

The Masinga Dam has burst after heavy rains hit the country, causing panic among people living in the surrounding areas and downstream.

The dam, the country's largest water reservoir for power generation, has exceeded its capacity of 1,056.5 cubic metres and currently stands at 1,056.66 cubic metres.

The water level is expected to rise further.

At the moment it is flowing at 328 cubic metres per second. The last time it overflowed was in 2019 when it stood at 1057.88.

It straddles the border of Embu and Machakos counties and is the main water reservoir for the iconic Seven Forks hydroelectric project.

Reconvened disaster management team

The CS further announced that the government had reconvened the Multi-Agency Disaster Management Team, which was established during the 2023 El Nino rains, "to ensure a coordinated, whole of Government approach to monitoring the current situation and organizing Government response programmes."

"The Kenya Red Cross Society and relevant National and
International humanitarian agencies have been co-opted to work
with (the) government to provide a coordinated response," he said.

"County Security and Intelligence Teams across the Country are
directed to work with County Governments to monitor and report
situations and to support the interventions of stakeholders to
ensure that the Country mitigates against loss of human or livestock life and destruction of public or private property. Should the situation demand, the Government will issue mandatory evacuation orders in specific areas in the interest of public safety."