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October 22, 2018

Solai IDPs asked to leave school, promised Sh100,000

Residents walk in the rain at Solai farm in Nakuru after Patel Dam burst its walls, overrunning nearby homes, May 10, 2018. /REUTERS
Residents walk in the rain at Solai farm in Nakuru after Patel Dam burst its walls, overrunning nearby homes, May 10, 2018. /REUTERS

Displaced people camping at Solai Boys' High School have until Sunday to leave so the school is reopened on Monday.

They were left homeless after Patel Dam burst its banks and water swept through residential areas on the night of May 9.

The IDPs have been asked to look for rentals as the government helps them start over - they have been promised money that is expected to sustain them for about three months.

They are also to be given between Sh30,000 and Sh100,000 depending on their status before the tragedy. Tenants will get Sh30,000 and home owners Sh50,000 while those who had rental houses will be given Sh100,000. 

Some of those who were interviewed today said they were informed of the move yesterday.

They added that they were not given proper guidelines on how they will receive the "peanuts" given the magnitude of the damage they suffered.

"It will be difficult to commute from as far as Bahati and Maili Kumi to Patel coffee farm for work as the wage is Sh250," one said.

The people also want proper profiling of affected families to prevent the crisis that plagued the compensation of victims of the 2007/8 post-election violence.

In a telephone interview, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Mongo Chimwanga said: "We are still working on modalities of handing the cash to families through the Kenya Red Cross Society."

He cited challenges including disagreements by couples who want separate allocations.

President Uhuru Kenyatta promised that the government will rebuild all schools destroyed as a result of heavy rains.

Uhuru noted that floods have wreaked havoc in Solai, Nakuru county, and areas such as Tana River, Kilifi and Migori counties as well.

He said the government will also construct roads and provide water and that Red Cross will get Sh1 billion, in addition to Sh1.5 billion, for its relief efforts.

More on this: Uhuru makes grand promises to victims of Solai dam tragedy

Also read: Heavy rainfall caused Solai Dam burst, Patel says, promises help

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