Africa-Press – Kenya. A water regulator has issued an advisory ahead of the expected El Nino rains to pound various parts of the country beginning this month.
In the notice, the Water Resources Authority (WRA) wants Kenyans to “strictly” adhere to the cautionary measures issued to avert dangers that may arise as a result.
With the water levels expected to rise and flash floods set to be experienced, the agency has asked the members of the public to identify and use safe routes to evacuate to higher safe ground in the event of floods and
According to the agency, there was also a need for the public to be wary of open channels and manholes during flooding.
Communities downstream of dams have also been urged to remain vigilant and adhere to alerts from the authorities and dam owners and operators.
“Approach river crossings, whether on foot or in a motor vehicle, with utmost caution,” the notice issued by the agency’s CEO reads.
The dam owners and operators have been advised to ensure they have an operation plan that outlines the procedures to notify and protect downstream inhabitants, infrastructure and environments from dam release (planned or accidental).
They are also expected to have the spillways properly maintained and free of any obstruction, to attain their full design spill capacity.
“Undertake regular dam safety inspection and assessment of the dams when full,” it further states.
In its forecast for the months covering October to December (OND) 2023 rainy season, the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) says most parts of the country are set to experience enhanced (above average) rains that will be fairly distributed in some areas and heavily distributed in other areas both in time and space.
The expected heavy rainfall may lead to river water levels rising significantly and may overtop the banks and cause flooding in adjacent low-lying areas.
The areas include lower Nyando, lower Nzoia, lower Sondu, lower Gucha Migori and the shoreline streams of Lake Victoria basin, lower Perkerra, Enkare Narok River at Rumuruti, Lower Tana River at Garissa, Hola and Garsen.
Other areas to be on the lookout include the Laggas within the Mid Tana basin (Kitui and Makueni Counties) and Ewaso Ng’iro North basin (Wajir and Mandera Counties).
Flash floods caused by the excessive runoff may be experienced in some areas, especially urban areas such as Nairobi City, Narok, Isiolo, Wajir and Mandera towns:
Filling of dams with a high likelihood of spilling over and causing flooding downstream is also expected to occur in major dams that include Bathi, Chemeron, Chemususu, Chinga, Ellegirini, Kakuzi, Gitaru, Kamburu, Klambere, Kindaruma and Kiboko.
Others are Kikoneni, Kirandich, Kiserian, Maruba, Mkurumudzi (BTL). Mkurumudzi (KISCOL), Moiben, Mulima, Muoni, Radat, Ruiru, Sasumua, Sondu Miriu, Thiba, Thika/ Ndakaini, Tindress and Turkwel dams.