Thursday, 16 August, 2018

'Huge destruction of both life and property' as Kenya dam bursts

Situation in Solai Nakuru County after Patel Dam burst its banks in Nakuru County Kenyan dam bursts causing 'huge destruction' and deaths
Lisa Bryan | 10 May, 2018, 14:30

Veronica Wanjiku Ngigi, 67, said she was at home brewing tea with her son at around 8 pm (1700 GMT) when his wife rushed in to say the dam had burst and they needed to get to higher ground immediately.

The walls of the Patel dam, situated on a large commercial farm on top of a hill in Nakuru county, 190 km (120 miles) northwest of Nairobi, gave way late on Wednesday as nearby residents were sitting down to evening meals. Hundreds have been rendered homeless.

The Kenya Red Cross said it had rescued 39 people shortly after the dam burst, while several people were feared to be trapped in thick mud which had spilled over from the reservoir - spreading over a radius of just over 1 mile. Dozens of people have already been rescued from the mud.

Lucky escape: A child is rescued from a destroyed structure. At least 21 people have died.

Property estimated at millions of shillings was also destroyed by the raging waters. "The extent of the damage has yet to be ascertained", Lee Kinyajui, governor of Nakuru, said in a statement.

"We have recovered 38 bodies and many people are missing. It is a disaster".

The mega dam is located inside the farm of prominent farmer Mansukul Patel in Solai.


The local people are now concerned about the condition of the other two dams, which are also reportedly full. Local leaders are now investigating whether the farmer had a licence to erect the dams.

He said 36 people had been hospitalised.

He said the county government will donate foodstuffs and other items to the displaced families on Thursday. However, the torrential rains and floods have made it hard to reach those most in need.

Security services have deployed choppers in areas where roads have been rendered impassible to rescue marooned civilian populations.

The East African nation has been experiencing unprecedented flooding in recent days as torrential rains pound the country shortly after it had come out of a severe drought season marked by hunger and water scarcity.

According to Kibicho, the government had so far distributed food and medicine worth Sh600 million in thirty-two affected counties.

A young woman walks in floodwaters after a heavy rainy season downpour at the Dadaab refugee complex, in the north-east of Kenya, on April 17, 2018.

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