Amid the crippling coronavirus pandemic, the government is facing the risk of catastrophic flash floods, with three dams expected to spill over the next 24 hours.
At the same time, the weatherman warned of heavy rains this week, with the intensity of the rain in Nairobi and the Western region expected to reach 40mm on Thursday and Saturday.
In a statement to newsrooms, the Ministry of Interior said Masinga, Kindaruma and Kiambere dams are full and might burst their banks Tuesday.
Cabinet secretaries Fred Matiang’i (Interior), Charles Keter (Energy), Keriako Tobiko (Environment) and Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution) noted that the government does not want a repeat of the West Pokot disaster, and hence told those living near the dams to move to higher grounds.
These arears include Murang’a, Taita Taveta, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Garissa, Tana River, Kitui, and Kisumu.
Speaking at the Kenya Meteorological Department Headquarters in Nairobi, Matiang’i urged Kenyans likely to be affected by the floods to cooperate with the local administration and heed the warnings issued by the government.
“This is about our lives, it is not about the government. I want to urge the civic leaders to help move people to safer grounds.
“We are working with governors in Tana River and Garissa to ensure that people move to higher grounds. We must not lose lives again,” he said.
Head of the Meteorological Department Stella Aura further urged members of the public not to ignore forecasts on rain patterns, saying most parts are currently receiving long rains which will continue up to May.
“When you see our alerts, please put them into good use so that we save lives and properties,” Ms Aura said.