, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – The government on Thursday said it was planning to construct several mega dams in different parts of the country in preparation for the expected El Nino.
Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said some of the dams that had stalled will also be revived in the coming days.
“We are already making plans in terms of constructing more dams so that as we have heavy rains coming we can harvest and store this water instead of allowing El Nino to be a disaster,” he said.
As a long-term measure, he announced that a disaster management policy was also being reviewed to give special focus on disasters emanating from heavy rains.
During heavy rains, parts of the country are prone to flooding which lead to deaths and destruction of property. The recent floods experienced this year left several people dead in parts of the country, including Nairobi.
According to Wamalwa, the government also plans to establish a Water Authority once the Water Bill is passed.
While urging the Senate to pass the bill, he explained that having a separate body to handle floods in the country will help in water harvesting and management of opportunities and challenges associated with heavy rains.
Some of the dams that the government expects to revive before the expected rains include Umma Dam in Kitui and Badasa in Marsabit which stalled following legal tussles.
Other dams to be revived include the Muache Dam at the Coast and Itare Dam in Nakuru.
On Tuesday Kenya Meteorological Services warned that Kenya will experience El Nino in the months of October, November and December.
Wamalwa spoke after holding discussions with Japanese Embassy officials in Kenya. Joined by Mikio Mori and Masaru of the Japanese Embassy, Wamalwa reviewed the progress of the Mwea Irrigation Project supported by Japan.
Japan donated $151 million to expand the capacity of the irrigation scheme intended to boost rice production.
Wamalwa said the Mwea irrigation project is important to increase rice production to cut down on rice imports.