Skip to main content
November 14, 2018

Uhuru mourns Solai 48 as state orders countrywide inspection of dams

A military officer assesses a damaged car after a dam burst, which unleashed water at nearby homes, in Solio town near Nakuru, Kenya May 10, 2018. /REUTERS
A military officer assesses a damaged car after a dam burst, which unleashed water at nearby homes, in Solio town near Nakuru, Kenya May 10, 2018. /REUTERS

President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta have condoled with families who lost their relatives in the Solai dam tragedy.

The message of condolence was delivered by Water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui during a tour of the areas affected by the dam burst on Saturday.

He said a memorial and prayer service for the Patel Dam burst victims will be held in a date to be communicated.

At least 48 people were killed after a dam burst at a flower farm in Nakuru county on Wednesday night sweeping away a village downstream.

A search is still going on for some 40 people, who are still missing after the dam burst.

Read: 40 still missing as Solai deaths hit 48

Chelugui said the government has rolled out a countrywide inspection of dams, an activity it will execute together with county governments.

The nationwide inspection will be spearheaded by the Water Resources Management Authority.

"WARMA will lead the inspection to ensure all dams are compliant with standards set out in the Water Act," Chelugui said.

The CS was accompanied by government officials during the inspection tour of Patel dams.

"Most dams in the country were built during colonial period and may not be safe to those who live near them," the Water minister added. 

The inspection will look at the materials used, whether the dams were built on waterways, and if engineers who oversaw their construction were licensed.

Chelugui said they are probing the Patel firms to check if they were in compliance with the required standards or if the dam burst was case of negligence.

"WARMA has on several occasions engaged the management of Patel farms asking them to ensure that they comply with the set standards," the CS said.

"We are perusing through correspondences between WARMA and the Patel family in order to know if indeed there was negligence."

Nakuru Governor welcomed the inspection of all water bodies saying some of them pose major safety concerns, especially with the ongoing rains.

Nakuru senator Susan Kihika called for action to be taken against anyone who erred in the process of inspection, construction, and licensing of Patel dams.

Members of the public have been asked to use the hotline 0700056472 in case of any flooding emergency.

Also read: Nakuru dam death toll could be higher - Matiangi

Click here for the latest political news

Poll of the day