Experts explain the ‘mysterious’ drying up of giant Subukia dam

The Rift Valley still has minor rifts that may have absorbed the water
The Rift Valley still has minor rifts that may have absorbed the water

RESIDENTS of Ruiru village in Subukia Constituency have been left bewildered after water in a 45,000 cubic metre dam, full to capacity, ‘mysteriously disappeared’ early this week.

The residents said the ground developed a hole in the middle, “swallowing” all the water.

The dam, sitting on a two-acre piece of land, was under construction by National Youth Service and Subukia CDF and has been the sole source of water for more than 1,000 families.

David Kimani, a farmer, said the dam was full to capacity on Monday but by Tuesday morning, it was totally drained.

“The dam was first built in 1971 and has been supplying water to the villagers, especially for irrigation. Farmers have been left without option and may end up losing crop and livestock,” said Kimani.

Subukia sub county water officer and site engineer John Njogu, termed the incident as normal and said it was as a result of fault lines underground.

Subukia sits on the floor of the Rift Valley. Scientists say rifting still occurs minimally along the 6,000-mile fissure that stretches from Lebanon to Mozambique, and slices Kenya into two segments. Evidence of volcanic activity along the rift is provided by the presence of numerous boiling hot springs in Kenya.

“The dam was full due to ongoing heavy rains after it was excavated by NYS personnel with the support of Subukia CDF kitty. My office will work with geologist to estimate the extent of the fault in order to continue with the dam construction,” said Njogu.

Josphat Kuria, a resident, called on the government to hasten the repair to ease the water shortage.