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SOLAI DAM TRAGEDY – DEATH TOLL RISES TO 48

Patel Dam, Solai tragedy

The death toll from the Patel dam tragedy in Solai, Nakuru as at Friday morning stands at 48, 20 out of the victims are reportedly children between 1-14 years.

40 more people are still missing following the horrific night of terror that left a trail of destruction. The dam burst reportedly led to 70 million (90% of holding capacity) litres of water, on a powerful wave about a metre-and-a-half along a 500-metre-wide path over run the villages, inundating anything on its way within seconds.

The privately owned dam burst on Wednesday night and water swept across a radius of two kilometers in villages inhabited by about 2,500 people.

41 survivors were taken to the hospital, 35 of them were discharged while six are still in the hospital.

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has been deployed in Solai to aid in the search and rescue operation, which is still on-going.

The Patel dam was constructed in the 80s and is located about 30 kilometers from Nakuru on the land of prominent farmer Mansukur Patel who uses the water to irrigate his flower farms.

According to Red Cross, the on-going floods in the country have to date killed 158 people and left 80 others injured countrywide.

KILLER DAM ILLEGAL

Perhaps what is even more disturbing is the government’s confession that the Patel Dam is one of seven illegal ones in Patel Coffee Estates Ltd.

According to officials of the Water Resources Management Authority (Warma), they had been pushing Patel to repair one of the dams near the shopping center, which had been leaking in vain.

“We had been pushing him to repair that one but this other one we didn’t anticipate,” said Simon Wang’ombe, the regional manager for the Rift Valley.

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