Patel Dam Death Toll Rises to 40, Search and Rescue Efforts Continue

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Kenyans are yet to come to terms with the horrific news that Patel Dam, in Solai, Nakuru, burst, killing dozens. 

The private earthen dam collapsed at around 9:00pm on Wednesday night, following weeks of heavy rain. 

Area residents say the dam has been disaster waiting to happen and that their complaints to authorities have largely gone unheeded.

Aftermath of the Patel Dam tragedy. Photo: Joseph Openda

Initial reports indicated that about a dozen people perished in the unfortunate incident. That figure has however risen to 40 at the time of writing this article. Most of the dead are children.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, along with the Cabinet Secretary for Interior Security and the Inspector General of police visited the site of destruction and bemoaned the tragedy.

Lives and property of unknown value was destroyed when Patel dam collapsed

Kinyanjui said that his government is doing all it can to evacuate affected survivors and assist them to get medical attention and supplies.

The extent of damage can be clearly seen from this aerial footage:

Video: Courtesy of Eric Njoka

Several other areas in Kenya have witnessed incidences of flooding following torrential rains being experienced across the country.
The rains have exposed substandard infrastructure as drainage systems have been rendered ineffective in Nairobi and other parts of the country. 

Update:

The Director of Public Prosecutions has ordered the Inspector General of police to conduct a probe into the Solai dam tragedy.

IG Joseph Boinnet has two weeks to find out if the owner of the dam Mansukul Patel is culpable.

This comes after emerged that Patel ignored safety warnings regarding the dam.

One time area MP Koigi Wamwere said that he complained severally that Patel dam was a danger to nearby dwellers and that it had completely blocked river water, denying residents the vital resource.

Apparently, Patel has two more similar dams on his vast horticultural farm. 

On Friday the KDF drained one of the dams using water pumps after emerged that it’s structural integrity was wanting.

The death toll now stands at 48 while 40 people are said to be still missing.

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