Solai residents have demanded that the three largest dams of Patel Mansukh be fully discharged (see page 8).
The loss of life after the Patel dam burst last week was tragic but getting rid of all the dams on the Solai estate is not the right way forward.
Patel employs over 3,000 people. Without the dams, the dairy farm and flower company would collapse in the next drought and those workers would lose their jobs. That would also be a tragedy.
However the concerns of local residents are genuine and should not be ignored.
The Water ministry last week promised to review the structural integrity of all valley dams in Kenya. In respect to the Solai dead, they should start by first inspecting these three remaining Patel dams. Do they have proper spillways? Are their walls strong enough?
The Water ministry should also investigate claims that Patel has excessively diverted local rivers to his dams. If that is true, the ministry should ensure that the rivers are restored to their natural courses.
Quote of the day: "Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life."
The Persian poet was born on 18 May, 1048