Residents near water reservoirs ordered to vacate

An Aerial view of the area swept away by raging waters of Kijabe Dam at Maai Mahiu in Nakuru county on April 29, 2024.[Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Residents living near 178 high-risk dams and water reservoirs have been ordered to vacate within 24 hours.

In a statement, the Ministry of Interior says the directive is to curb massive destruction in the event the dams overflow.

"All persons residing within the 30-meter riparian corridor of rivers and other water courses across the country have been ordered to vacate immediately," read the statement.

"A 24-hour evacuation notice effective May 2, 2024, was also issued to settlements in 33 Counties that are within 178 high-risk dams and water reservoirs. This follows a nationwide assessment of all dams in the country that identified 192 dams as high risk in Central (60), Eastern (39), Rift Valley (29), Coast (22), Western (21), Nairobi (12), North Eastern (5), and Nyanza (4)."

According to the Ministry, flooding is expected in low-lying areas, riparian areas, and urban areas while landslides and mudslides may occur in areas with steep slopes, escarpments, and ravines.

In its preparedness, the Ministry says 115 camps have been set up to shelter persons affected by the floods across the country.

"Following heavy rains that continue to pour across many parts of the country, a total of 115 camps have been set up across 19 counties hosting a total of 27,586 people," read the statement.