Tana River residents have petitioned Parliament to compel the management of electricity firm KenGen to compensate them for losses they incurred when the State-owned company released excess water from its Masinga dam in April.
Through Garsen MP Ali Wario, the residents claim that property of unknown value was lost as a result of flooding when KenGen released excess water from Masinga dam.
“I, the undersigned, on behalf of residents of Garsen Constituency, draw the attention of the House that, on April 24, 2018, KenGen released excess water from their Masinga dam that caused massive flooding downstream,” says Mr Wario.
KenGen’s management has previously said its dams helped, rather than aggravated the flooding along Tana River’s banks.
The residents claim that water was released without adequate notice, leading to the loss of livelihoods along River Tana.
The MP claims that KenGen floods led to the destruction of 5,013 homes valued at about Sh205 million.
“Therefore, your humble petitioners pray that the National Assembly, through the departmental committee on Energy, cause the management of KenGen to take responsibility for their negligence and compensate the affected residents for the losses,” Mr Wario said in a petition filed with the Clerk.
of the National Assembly.
Mr Wario accuses KenGen of releasing the excess dam waters without adequate notice to residents living downstream.
He says the resultant floods from excess Masinga dam waters led to loss of seven human lives and nearly 1,017 livestock besides forcing thousands of people to leave their homes.
“Critical physical infrastructure such as roads and bridges has also been destroyed as a result, leading to severe challenges in movement of people including access to basic facilities such as schools and hospitals,” Mr Wario says on behalf of his Garsen residents.
He said several cases of waterborne diseases such as cholera and malaria have been reported as result of the floods.
“Efforts to have the management of KenGen take responsibility for this gross negligence have proved futile,” the MP claimed.
He wants Parliament to intervene and ensure that the plight of the petitioners’ is addressed urgently and to make any other order or direction that it deems fit in the circumstances of the matter.