Kenya Dams Yet to Fill up as Floods Wreak Havoc


The latest forecast by the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) has indicated that the heavy rains currently being experienced in various parts of the country will continue. Some parts of the country have already been flooded following heavy rainfall witnessed over the last few weeks.

Dams help in regulating river levels by storing huge volumes of water thus reducing floods, by controlling water flowing downstream during heavy rains season. These dams are built with concrete structures that allow water to overflow in a controlled way whenever the full supply levels are surpassed in order to retain their structural integrity.

Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen), has been continuously monitoring water levels at the hydropower generating dams country-wide, through a water management plan, a continuous exercise to ensure prudent management of the dams during the on-going heavy rains season.

However, even with the continued rains that have wreaked havoc in most parts of the country, Kengen reported that the dams have not yet attained their full capacity. The current water levels against the dams’ full capacity in meters above sea level (M.A.S.L) are less.

Dam Current level (M.A.S.L) Full Capacity (M.A.S.L)
Turkwel 1129.60 1150.00
Sondu Miriu 1402.30 1402.50
Masinga 1045.75 1056.50
Kamburu 1005.79 1006.50
Gitaru 923.01 924.50
Kindaruma 779.01 781.10
Kiambere 689.75 700.00


That despite the floods along rivers Turkwel and Tana, the dams are not yet full and all the water, except the amounts being used for power generation, is being retained in the dams for later use. With the on-going rains, it could only get worse for those parts affected by floods already, if the rainfall pattern experienced last month, repeats itself.

KenGen has promised to continue to provide prompt information on water inflows and levels with a view to facilitating proper management of the situation.

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