Masinga Dam full to highest level ever recorded - KenGen

Masinga Dam full to highest level ever recorded - KenGen

The Masinga Dam at full capacity. PHOTO | KenGen

KenGen has allayed fears of Masinga Dam bursting its banks due to the ongoing heavy rains amidst fears of an overflow.

In a statement on Thursday, the company said despite the dam which is located in the Seven Forks Cascade recording the highest level ever in history, its walls were built to withstand high pressure hence there is no need to panic.

KenGen Managing Director and CEO Eng. Peter Njenga noted that the same was the case for the other dams along the River Tana, namely; Kamburu, Gitaru, Kindaruma and Kiambere.

“The level of water in Kenya’s largest hydro power generating dam, Masinga, located in the Seven Forks Cascade today morning was at 1,058.22 meters above sea level against a full supply level of 1,056.50 meters. This season has seen Masinga rise to the highest level ever recorded in history surpassing the previous record of 1,058.13 last recorded in May 2020,” read the statement.

Eng. Njenga stated: “We constantly monitor our dams’ structure and would wish to assure all Kenyans that the dam safety measures we have put in place along with our disaster preparedness help allay risks of the water breaching the walls of the dams.”

KenGen however implored people living downstream along the River Tana to heed to the government’s directive and move to safer areas uplands since the weatherman has already predicted continued rainfall throughout the month of May.

Some of the communities said to be affected include Mbondoni, Kithecu, and Menguthe villages.

“In November 2023, KenGen predicted that Masinga Dam was likely to reach full supply capacity and overflow in April 2024, which has come to pass. At that time, KenGen issued an early warning to communities living near the dams and rivers to relocate and move to higher grounds to avoid loss of lives and property,” Eng. Njenga added.

“We thank those who took our warning seriously and moved to safer zones and urge those still residing near the dams and river Tana to heed the Government’s call and move to safer grounds.”

 The KenGen boss at the same time said the company was seeking to utilize the heavy downpours to stabilize the electricity supply in the country.

He revealed a move to raise Masinga Dam by 1.5 meters in order to increase the capacity of the water held, adding that the dams also help to regulate water flow thus reducing the possibility of flooding.

“Going forward, KenGen with the support of the government is considering raising of Masinga Dam by 1.5 meters which will help hold more water and further delay the overflow of the dam during heavy rains. KenGen’s hydroelectric power capacity currently stands at 826MW which accounts for 44% of its installed capacity and about 25% of the total national capacity,” he stated.

“Over the years, the dams have helped to regulate river flows and mitigate flooding downstream by temporarily storing the flood volume and allowing the water to naturally flow downstream later through the power plants.”

Eng. Njenga added: “As projected by the Kenya Meteorological Department the rains are likely to go until the end of May, yet we need cheaper power for the entire year, this is why we are implementing a robust water management plan to enable us to supply hydropower all through the year to help stabilize the cost of electricity in Kenya.”


KenGen Floods Masinga Dam Seven Forks

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