Feared Dead As Kenya Dam Bursts

Feared Dead As Kenya Dam Bursts

The 9pm horror rendered over 300 families homeless and about 2,500 residents were affected.

The extent of the damage is yet to be ascertained, he said in a statement.

The burst happened in Solai, a town 190km northwest of the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

He said the incident occurred on Wednesday evening, causing extensive damage to homes, schools and businesses.

Property estimated at millions of shillings was also destroyed by the raging waters.

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Rescue operation by people, Kenya Red Cross and Nakuru County disaster management teams went into Thursday morning and more than 40 people have been rescued from the mud and taken to hospitals. Local reports identified the failed structure as a privately owned earthen dam on a large farm.

Police chief Gideon Kibunjah said 36 people had been hospitalised. Local leaders are now investigating whether the farmer had a licence to erect the dams.

Among villages affected are those in the farmlands of Nyakinyua, Endao, and Arutani where hundreds of people were displaced.

The unusually heavy rains began in March and have so far killed at least 132 people. However, the torrential rains and floods have made it hard to reach those most in need.

The area around Nakuru is on the edge of Kenya's main flower-farming region - a major source of foreign exchange and employment for East Africa's biggest economy - and is dotted with irrigation reservoirs. Caught between different extremes, millions of Kenyans are in dire straits. Military helicopters and personnel have for the past week been deployed to rescue people marooned by the flooding.

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