Patel Dam death toll reaches 44

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Over 40 people died on Wednesday and several others reported missing after a dam burst its walls in the Solai area of Nakuru following heavy rains.

The Patel Dam, located on private farmland and used for irrigation and fish farming, broke its one-kilometer-long wall and swept hundreds of homes downstream.

More than 40 others are reported missing following the raging floods.

Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika raised concerns over the construction over the dam questioning the manner in which it was constructed.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i visited the scene and said the government had launched investigations to determine the stability of six other dams.

Matiang’i however rubbished claims of  foul play saying the incident utterly looked like an accident.

Scattered helmets, utensils, clothes and fish from the dam is all that could be seen in what was left of the villages.

Government statistics released Wednesday showed that more than 220,000 people have been displaced by flooding as heavy rains hit the country — after three consecutive failed rainy seasons had left it in drought.

The area has seven dams used by a commercial farm, said Keffa Mageni, an official with an advocacy group that helps  resettle displaced people. With the heavy seasonal rain, the dams do not have an outlet, he said.

A multi-agency unit was formed to try and retrieve the bodies of the dead, as many people were reported missing.