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Economy

Filled up Masinga Dam signals cheaper power

Masinga dam. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Masinga dam. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Power producer KenGen #ticker:KENGEN has started discharging water from Masinga Dam into River Tana after the reservoir filled up, setting the stage for a further fall in electricity prices.

Water in the dam has risen to 1,056.68 metres against a maximum level of 1,056.50 metres.

KenGen is discharging 70 cubic metres per second.

Hydro-electric dams along the Tana River Basin have risen to a three year high following months of heavy rain.

This has helped double the share of power in the national grid to 40 per cent, a rise that is expected to further cut the fuel levy in power bills after falling to Sh4.95 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in May from April’s Sh5.35 on reduced use of expensive diesel generators. On Tuesday, Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter asked residents of Garissa, Hola, Garsen and Bura to move to safer grounds after announcing the dam would start overflowing once it fills to capacity.

“Masinga is the biggest dam. Already there has been spilling in the other dams such as Kiambere. From any time between now and Friday, we will be expecting Masinga to spill. This is an alert we are raising,” Mr Keter said.

Masinga Dam feeds four other dams downstream, which are already full. According to Mr Keter, once Kiambere Dam overflows it will take four days for the cascading water to reach Garissa Town and the lower Tana delta.

Two weeks ago, homes and farms were submerged by water rendering families in Garissa and near Tana River homeless.

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