Rose Achiego – Nairobi; Vatican News Staff –Vatican City
Deaths and extensive damage to homes, schools and businesses.
45 people are said to have lost their lives while hundreds of families have been displaced after the walls of the Patel Dam in Solai, a town 190km north-west of the capital, Nairobi, burst and sent down more than 70 million litres of water on homes. An entire village was flattened.
Last week on Wednesday night, tragedy hit the small town of Solai leaving many families homeless following extensive damage to homes, schools and businesses. The broken Patel Dam is one of three water reservoirs owned by prominent Kenyan agribusiness and iodised salt manufacturer, Perry Mansukhlal Kansagra. Government engineers on Friday drained two other dams that they said posed similar threats to residents.
Bishops deeply saddened by the tragedy
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives, the injured and the large-scale destruction created across the country, the worst and shocking being the Nakuru-Solai Dam tragedy that has left many dead. Our heartfelt condolences and well wishes also to those affected in Muranga, Kilifi, Lamu, Narok, Tana River among others,” Bishop John Oballa Owaa the Bishop of Ngong Diocese and Chairman KCCB-Catholic Justice and Peace Commission told media.
Kenyan authorities urged to ensure the safety of citizens
Though built in the 1980s, Kenyan authorities have described the Patel Dam as illegal. An investigation is underway.
Kenyan Bishops commended disaster recovery teams in Solai and called upon authorities to ensure the safety of citizens.