Turkwel Dam might overflow anytime from now- Water Resources Authority warns

Residents living in areas likely to be affected urged to move to higher grounds.

In Summary

• The spillage might displace 300,000 people in its downstream along River Turkwel.

• Water at the dam has reached the highest level ever and and might overflow anytime between now and October 20th.

Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok with his Wespokot counterpart John Lonyangapuo at Turkwel Dam.
RELOCATE NOW: Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok with his Wespokot counterpart John Lonyangapuo at Turkwel Dam.
Image: MARYANN CHAI

The Water Resources Authority (WRA) has issued a flood alert notice to people leaving around Turkwel Dam in North Rift.

WRA warned that the spillage might displace 300,000 people in its downstream along River Turkwel.

The authority Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Moulid Shurie said the spillage might sweep through more than five areas.

 
 
 

The areas in danger include Katilu, Lodwar, Kalemnyang, Loyapat, Nakwamoru, and other settlements along the shores of Lake Turkana.

 

"Water abstraction Points such as River Turkwel Irrigation Scheme and bridges along the river might be damaged," Shurie said.

Shurie urged residents living in areas likely to be affected by the floods to move to higher grounds and adhere to alert issued through various mediums.

He said the spillage is likely to occur between now and October 20th, noting that water at the dam has reached the highest level ever.

"The current water level as of today is at 8.48meters higher than the highest ever reached level leaving only 2.28meters before spilling," he said.

He attributed the high water levels to the rains that have been occurring in the area since October 2019 with most of the catchments receiving more than normal rainfall.

The dam's capacity is 1.6 billion metric tons, sits on 6,500 hectares with a hydraulic head of 150M.


A section of Turkwel Dam before heavy rains.
DANGER: A section of Turkwel Dam before heavy rains.
Image: MARYANN CHAI