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45 people confirmed dead after seasonal dam bursts its banks in Mai Mahiu

45 people confirmed dead after seasonal dam bursts its banks in Mai Mahiu


Monday, April 29,2024

KNA by Erastus Gichohi

Forty-five people have been confirmed dead after a seasonal dam on the upper part of Kijabe slopes burst its banks causing gushing flash floods that decimated hundreds of homes in Mai Mahiu area of Naivasha.

The fatal incident that occurred at around 3 am on Monday caught families unaware with fears the number could rise as search and rescue operations continue.

So far, hundreds of rescued victims continue to receive medical attention at the area health facilities with government, church and private counsellors deployed to offer psychosocial support to affected family members.

Confirming the deadly and unfortunate incident, Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika said 45 people have so far been confirmed dead adding that the full impact of dam’s burst and destruction is yet to be established.

Kihika said a full coordinated search and rescue operation involving the county, National government and Kenya Redcross has been ongoing even as tens of residents still reported missing.

The governor called on residents to report to authorities missing family members to enable the agencies establish the exact number of affected victims and casualties.

She added that the county has mobilised all its officials towards the search and rescue operations adding that they have onboarded private facilitates in the area to help in medical evacuations and assistance.

On his part, Cabinet Secretary for Transport Kipchumba Murkomen regretted the tragedy that has caused the lives of 45 individuals including children adding that a multiagency rescue operation has been activated to search for missing persons.

Murkomen said a team from Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) was helping in clearing the debris that had blocked section of the road causing a massive traffic gridlock.

In addition, the CS appealed to all Kenyans to adhere and follow the government advisories issued to move to higher grounds to avert any loss of lives across the country.

According to Head of Kenya Red Cross in South Rift region Felix Maiyo, a team has been activated to facilitate a rescue mission at the affected area with more fatalities expected to rise.

He appealed to Kenyans to report details of missing family members to the already established help desk after reports indicated that some family members were missing, either having been swept away by the ranging floods or buried under the debris.

Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara described the incident as horrorific and terrible adding that government agencies and humanitarian agencies and locals are leading in evacuation and rescue of those affected.

On her part, Nakuru County Chief Officer for Public Health Joyce Ncece regretted the fatal incident calling on the national government to activate the National Youth Service personnel to help in the rescue operations with tens of residents still missing.

Ncece at the same time appealed to the striking doctor and health personnel to resume duty and help with emergency care adding that area health centres have been overwhelmed as numbers of victims continue to rise.

The fatal incident comes after the ongoing heavy downpours that have hit the area causing landslides and a trail of destruction leaving communities devastated and counting losses.

Courtesy; KNA

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