Close

MASSIVE DESTRUCTION

Njoro MP wants leaking dam drained

Residents say the leakage started in 2014

In Summary

• On June 24, the High Court in Nakuru revoked the dam's licence following a petition by three landowners

• The court ordered Nema to undertake integrity tests and provide guidance to Sojanmi Springfields 

Magistrate's gavel
Magistrate's gavel
Image: FILE

Njoro MP Charity Chepkwony has urged the Water Resources Management Authority (Warma) and the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) to end leakage from a dam.

She said the dam, a property of Sojanmi Springfields, has caused massive destruction to homes and farms in Muchorwe village. Chepkwony said she had lodged complaints with the county security committee. Residents interviewed by KNA said the dam started leaking in 2014.

On June 24, the High Court in Nakuru revoked the dam's licence following a petition by three landowners. It directed that Sojanmi Springfields, which runs flower farms, seek a fresh licence or decommission the leaking facility.

The court ordered Nema to undertake integrity tests on the dam and provide guidance to Sojanmi Springfields before it resumes operations.

Chepkwony said the leaking dam was a disaster in waiting and revealed that the county security committee will tour the flower farm and have an audience with the owners. She appealed to the firm’s management to drain the facility.

Chepkwony said the dam’s earth wall had started failing way before the current rains began. She said no attempt had been made to fix the problem, especially during dry weather intervals.

Efforts to get comments from the management were unsuccessful. Reporters were not allowed into Sojanmi Springfields premises.

 

Nema officers have been directed to visit the dam and find out whether materials used during construction were suitable.

Last year, 48 people died in Energy village and Nyakinyua farm after a dam burst its banks in Solai, Nakuru. The disaster left many homesteads, three churches (PCEA Solai, Full Gospel, and Good Shepherd), and two schools flattened. Electric poles were not spared, leading to a power outage.

A multi-agency report released by the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government has revealed that the location of Patel Dam contributed highly to the tragedy. 

The report released by the ministry on Monday said residents were exposed to risks. 

“Even with proper design and maintenance, and approval by statutory authorities, natural calamities are likely to occur in future, thereby endangering the safety of the whole Solai community,” it says.

(Edited by F'Orieny)