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Kengen raises concerns over delayed rains 

Water levels at Masinga dam at the Seven Forks. The dam is the main reservoir at the Eastern hydro power generation and supplies water to Gitaru, Kamburu, Kiambere and Kindaruma dams downstream. It stands at 1056metres above sea level when full but it is currently at 1036metres. Photo by KNA.

National Power  producer  Kengen has raised concerns over the delayed April rains that have led to reduced water levels at the Seven Forks hydro generating dams.

Eastern Hydros Assistant Operations Manager, Samson Kimani said water levels at the Masinga dam, the main water reservoir has reduced considerably and they are contemplating stopping power generation at the dam.

Masinga dam’s water levels currently stand at 1037metres against 1056 metres, when full. When closed, the water will be spilled to Gitaru, Kamburu, Kindaruma and Kiambere dams downstream that have the capacity to generate more power.

Speaking when supplying Sh3 million worth of foodstuffs to famine stricken residents of Machakos, Kitui and Embu Counties that border the Seven Forks over the weekend, Kimani said the failed rains in the last two seasons had affected operations at the plant.

He said they are now being forced to turn off some turbines during the day and turn them on during peak hours since the water levels cannot sustain full power generation capacity throughout the day.

He said that even if the rains fail, power charges increment will be minimal and that there will be no power outages since other sources of power generation are running in full capacity.

“However, we have many fall back plans due to the many other power generation sources that we have in geothermal, wind, thermal which are running,” he said.

He is however, hopeful that the water levels will come up again when the April rains begin so that normal operations can continue.

“We have had systems in place in terms of generation to see to it that despite the drought brought about by failed rains in the last two seasons, power charges and supply have not been affected in a big way,” he said.

By  Muoki  Charles

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